by Margaret Foster, MAEd
There’s lots of advice out there right now about schoolwork at home, length of time off school, etc., etc. If you’ve found good direction from your school, onsite group, or whatever… congratulations, go with it! If you’d like some help tailoring all that info to your own life, perhaps my Big Picture below will help.
Big picture for education right now… it’s about learning.
While schedules and materials are good, for some this is problematic. Baseline, as someone who has been in education and special education for (yikes!) 40 years: read, write, do some math, find an interest area to learn more about (science or history or art or music).
1. Read. Every day. Twenty minutes or so for most. For those with reading problems, consider Great Leaps Digital if you want to improve reading, or you can listen to audiobooks instead. Or you can watch a good series on TV. Read your friends’ stories, or edit your own. You will still learn about far away places, people other than yourself and how stories flow.
2. Write. Stories, letters, notes to folks who could use some cheering up. And yes, texting is writing. And for those with writing disabilities, practice speech-texting to help with all subjects now and in school.
3. Math. None of us knows how this school year will finish up, but math is a cumulative subject that takes practice. Use Khan Academy, computer math games, “kitchen math”… it doesn’t matter. A little bit of practice and a couple of new things should do it.
4. Interest areas. Go for it! Find a topic, explore it, talk about it…whatever!
5. Use a planner or journal to sort out the chaos, keep track, and keep you school-ready. Sit down once a week, scratch your chin and ask yourself how that went. Even highly experienced teachers know that it take 2-4 weeks for schedules to come together.
6. Routines are good…when they fit the family and individual. They dispel the unknown a bit and help us get things done. Flexibility is good as well—especially when stressed. Stress is the enemy of learning so work on finding your own balance.
Good luck! Good things will come of this even though we are all struggling now.
Count blessings and carry on.
Margaret Foster, MAEd, is the director, learning specialist, and academic coach at Educonn, LLC. She helps students of all ages understand their academic challenges and guides them as they plan and practice individualized strategies for success. Foster has written numerous articles about executive functioning and coauthored a book for teachers with Joyce Cooper-Kahn, PhD: Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom. She also provides professional development for schools and organizations about reading, writing, and executive skills. Contact her at email@example.com or learn more at https://educonnworldwide.wordpress.com.
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