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Parent tips for motivating children and teaching from home
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Parent tips for motivating children and teaching from home

By Conor Corey, educator, parent, and Khan Academy Ambassador


Create a schedule that works for your family not the school. Many of us are working from home, sharing devices, and experiencing high levels of stress. My schedule will not match your schedule and that is okay! Cut your child’s education into ½ subjects throughout the day and night that relieve some of the stress. Your child does not have to do school work from 8am-3pm. This is unrealistic and unnecessary.

Eliminate some school assignments: 

Distance learning is new for all of us and your children are receiving assignments across 6-7 subject areas daily. Look at your child/children’s assignments on Monday and make a decision about which ones hold educational value. Teachers are all being held accountable for providing work for their subject area but they do not have the ability to individualize it to each child the way they do while in a standard setting. If it is taking 25 minutes for your child to submit something it takes them 5 minutes to answer, it may be something you skip. Use your discretion, but anything taking longer than a half hour on one assignment STOP. After that amount of time it becomes busy work and not learning. It will only lead to additional stress on you and your child. Parents should understand that incompletion of students' work in this virtual learning setting can not be held against them!

Create a Khan Academy account and Master 4th grade Math: 

This seems silly, but it could be the most useful thing that you will ever do for your child’s education. Chances are you have been sent 20 logins to various digital platforms to find help while your child is learning. This becomes extremely overwhelming and finding relevant content online is pages of sites trying to sell you things. Khan Academy is a 100% free platform that provides a linear approach to learning all subject areas with tutorial videos, practice problems, quizzes, etc..If you take the time to learn how this platform works you will always have a place to find information to assist your child during school. Take 10-15 minutes a day and have your child work on their grade as you work on 4th grade. Show them you are always a learner and even as adults you need to reteach yourself things. As a result of the current situation Khan Academy will become a significant part of standard public education across the nation. This process will pay off for years to come as you will gain mastery of a platform that will allow you to find and teach yourself anything.

Cut School: 

Yes, I said it! Cut school with your kids and ignore all assignments. Turn your phones off and spend the day together. Trying cooking together,  building something, anything at all just do it together. It is okay and your kids will think you are cool. The reality is that you and your children could probably use a mental health day. A day spent doing things together is more valuable than any digital assignments.

You are an educator!

You have taught your children everything they know. From riding a bike, learning to swim, shooting a basketball, to tying their shoes. Take a moment to eliminate the worry of keeping up and focus on the life lesson you are currently teaching them. Currently you are teaching your child how to respond when unexpected things are thrown into life, and how to respond to adversity when you have no control over a situation. Are you positive? Resilient? Or stressed and angry? Your children are watching and learning from you right now. How you respond during such a difficult time is how they will respond when difficulty comes into their life as an adult. Stay positive because you and we will get through this!