Supporting Distance Learning at Home 

Creating structure is one of the best things we can do as we navigate the current situation and more time together. Developing a structure offers a sense of comfort and control and helps the day go more smoothly. The key elements in creating structure are consistency, predictability, and follow through. Here are some ideas for building structure:

Create Routines & Learning Spaces

  Schedule Play Time & Down Time

Use Screens

 Wisely

Our children thrive on routine. Consider keeping their regular bedtime and morning routines, sitting down for lunch at the same time as they do at school, and writing out a daily schedule so that they know the plan for the day. Keeping these small things consistent can help our kids to feel regulated, calm and make a potentially scary situation feel much more predictable.  Additionally, creating a  consistent work space that is comfortable, has materials and resources needed, is located in a common area of the home, and has less distractions, can help create an environment that is easier to focus and learn. 

RESOURCES:

An average day at school fluctuates between time spent on learning, time to process and reflect, and time to have some fun. With an extended stay at home, it may help to touch on all of these activities. Scheduled play and down time allows for a child to predict when they will have a break to move their bodies and decompress. This would be a good time to engage in activities from the Art, PE, Music and Media classes.

Many parents will no doubt be working from home and have significant to-do lists of their own. While watching movies and favorite TV shows is likely, explore educational screen-based options as part of your child’s day. We recommend parents revisit digital citizenship and internet safety with their child - no matter the age. By creating a work space in a common area, parents can periodically monitor what children are doing on their device.

RESOURCES:

Move Your

Body 

Build

Life Skills

Work on Organizational Skills 

Getting outside for some fresh air is a great option. Here are also some creative ways to make sure our kids have time for movement. For options other than video-based activities, consider things like building a pillow fort, keeping balloons off of the ground, having a dance party or setting up a home-made obstacle course.

RESOURCES:

Consider spending this time teaching some skills in the home: have kids help do a whole load of laundry from start to finish, work through a recipe together or other household tasks. All of these experiences build independence in children.

Problem solving, time management, and goal setting are all important life skills. Provide sorting activities, have a child create their own schedule, set a daily goal, practice telling time or play some problem-solving games such as Heads-up, Charades or Guess Who.

This sample schedule offers ideas organizing days into categories with possible ideas in each category. It is intended to support families in creating their own schedules.

ECCS Sample Schedule                                                                                                                                                               

Time

Activity

Ideas

Before 9 a.m.

Wake Up

Eat breakfast; get dressed; make your bed; put pj’s away, create a list for the day, etc.

9:00-9:30

Learning Planning

Teachers will post daily learning and students create a learning plan for the day
***Focus on most rigorous/challenging activities early in the day

9:30-11:00

Academic Time

Work on learning plan & reading

***Work on completing most rigorous/challenging activities during this timeframe

11:00-12:00

Creative & Movement Time

-Music, crafting, lego building, cooking, drawing, building blocks, create a topic bingo board, etc.

-Go for a walk, practice a sport, etc

***Use tools/resources provided by teachers for creative and active learning

12:00-12:45

Lunch

Prepare, eat and clean up

12:45-1:15

Chore Time

Wipe up kitchen counters and chairs, pick up bedroom, household tasks, pick up toys or materials, etc.

1:15-1:30

Learning Plan Check

Reflect on morning learning plan - make adjustments for the afternoon

1:30-3:00

Academic Time

Work on learning plan & reading

3:00-4:30

Creative & Movement Time

Go for a walk, bike ride with family, outdoor scavenger hunt, play outside with family, practice a sport, build a fort, mindfulness activities, etc.

***Use tools/ resources provided by teachers for creative and active learning

4:30-5:30

Free Time

Select activities and ideas that fit this time

5:30-6:15

Dinner

Prepare, eat and clean up

6:30-8:00

Family Time

Vary activities - this might rotate each evening and include movie night, puppet show, board game night, card games, family reading, etc.

8:00

Bedtime Routines

Based‌ ‌on‌ ‌information‌ ‌from‌ ‌‌Neuropsychology‌ ‌&‌ ‌Education‌ ‌Services‌ ‌for‌ ‌Children‌ ‌&‌ ‌Adolescents‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Center‌ ‌for‌ ‌Disease‌ ‌Control‌ ‌&‌ ‌Prevention‌ ‌-‌ ‌Essentials‌ ‌for‌ ‌Parenting‌