It’s safe to say that the 2020 school year is not ending as anyone had planned. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and historic measures taken to slow the spread, social gathering places, including schools, have been closed. Parents are now pulling double, or even triple duty (if you’re working from home) as a teacher by day and parent by night. Suddenly, a standard 40-hour workweek now includes a seemingly additional 40 hours’ worth of work… in a new profession… with little to no training. But don’t worry, you’ve got this. And we’ve got some tips that may help.

Make a schedule, but keep it simple

Making a schedule is a snap, it’s sticking to it that’s the trick, especially if you’re trying to mirror the structure of a school day. That’s why it’s best to keep things simple.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow:

  • Start your day like a typical school day with a healthy breakfast and getting dressed (that goes for both the student AND the ‘teacher.’)  😉
  • ‘Class’ should start at/around the same time every day.
  • Include breaks. Regular breaks and downtime are built into your child’s daily schedule at school, so you should do the same at home. They will need that time to decompress, and so will you.
  • Be flexible. If your child is really struggling through a lesson, instead of fighting with them to finish, take a short break or make an agreement to come back to that lesson later in the day. It will give you and your child a much-needed fresh perspective.

It may seem small, but children thrive when boundaries and schedules are set.

Use resources

Siouxland teachers have done a phenomenal job of pivoting from in-class to remote learning in a matter of days. They are doing their best to provide digital resources and support to parents and students at this time.

There are also several educational websites such as Scholastic learn-at-home, who are offering free access to their educational materials.

Mo Willems, of the popular children’s series, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” and “Elephant and Piggy”, helps keep your child’s creativity flowing with his Lunch Doodles. And everyone’s favorite, “Book Lady”, Dolly Parton, hosts a read-aloud each night called Good Night with Dolly, where she reads Imagination Library bedtime stories.

Speaking of reading…


Make it a point to read to your child every day. Studies have shown that reading is not only great exercise for our brain, it improves concentration, improves vocabulary and language skills, develops imagination and is a great way to spend time together.

If your child is old enough to read, have them read to you and discuss what the book is about. 

Have fun

From educators to parents, everyone is getting more creative when it comes to learning, and that means, more opportunities for fun! Bake your family’s favorite recipe for a quick history, math and chemistry lesson all rolled into one. Create some sidewalk chalk masterpieces for art class. Sneak in a grammar and writing lesson by having your child write a letter to a grandparent, friend or first responder.

The point is, learning doesn’t always have to come from a textbook, it can also come from hands-on experiences.

Give yourself some grace

Most of you are not teachers. You know it, your kids know it and educators know it. The good news is, no one is expecting you to magically master a profession that teachers have spent years perfecting. Give your child and yourself some grace and know that the teachers see your effort and are cheering you along.

This is a difficult time for everyone. When your child looks back on this time, they will most likely not remember the exact lessons you taught as their COVID substitute teacher, but they WILL remember how they felt during this time. Your job isn’t to be a star teacher (leave that to the professionals 😉). Your job is to provide a loving, safe, and stable environment for your child during these uncertain times.

The staff at Family Health Care of Siouxland would like to thank all parents for taking on the additional challenge of remote learning with their child. It’s one of the many sacrifices that are making the difference to flatten the curve and give essential services a fighting chance against this virus. Stay safe, be well, and remember, when it comes to teaching from home, you’ve got this! 🙌

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