A Few Tips for Learning from Home

Last month we decided to withdraw our daughter from school for repeated illnesses. It was not a serious medical issue, more that she was coming home sick every couple weeks with a viral infection and couldn’t seem to get back to 100%. The stress of missing school days and having a ton of make-up work coupled with early rising was delaying her recuperation. By allowing her to learn at home, she has a chance to sleep in and rest when needed. We’ve been homeschooling for a few weeks now and she is finally getting healthy and strong. Next week her brothers will join her in learning at home, given the school closures due to COVID-19. I thought I would share a few tips for helping your kids learn from home.

Big brother going through a pre-algebra lessons with his sister.

Tip #1: Take It Slow

The first day I met with my daughter for our lessons, I thought we would just launch into learning but there were some hiccups and resistance to MY agenda. It took us a couple weeks to get a routine going as well as for me to understand her learning preferences and the subjects she enjoys learning most. Her brothers are in 3rd and 9th grade. Monday, I will have an elementary, middle school and high school learner needing learning opportunities and guidance. I don’t have plans or know whether teachers will be sending out assignments. We will take it slow and ease into developing a routine with productive time spent reading and solving math problems.

We use a science textbook, computer, and vintage prints to learn about plants for life science.

Tip #2: Learning at Home Takes Less Time

The kids will not be busy strictly from 8am -3pm when they are are home. Going through lessons take less time when learning at home. Sometimes, if there’s a difficult concept to learn, it will take more time, but learning at home generally takes less time than a regular school day. My middle schooler can complete her assignments in about 3 hours each day and then spends 30 minutes – 1 hour reading or finishing up an assignment. That leaves A LOT of time to fill with other activities. I expect my elementary aged son to spend about 2 hours each day with lessons and my high schooler will likely spend about 5-6 hours on assignments. I am hoping we get some assignments from the teachers.

We went to the Sonoran Desert Museum earlier this week.

Tip #3: Ideas & Activities

Given the shortened learning day when you are home, it will be useful to have some extra ideas ready for when the kids need a change of pace. Below, you will find a list of links to websites and lists of things to do with school aged children. My number one recommendation is to send the kids outside. Here are some outdoor ideas with social distancing in mind:

  • Nature Walks (even around the neighborhood)
  • Hiking
  • Walk the dog
  • Bike Rides
  • Go to a park with large field areas
  • Go to nature preserves, arboretums, or gardens
  • Plant seeds & start a small kitchen garden
  • Have the kids take care of the outdoor space
  • Play board games outside
  • Have a picnic in the backyard or on the patio
  • Camp in your backyard

Websites with Educational & Hands-On Activities

I hope you find these resources helpful as you transition to having your kids at home. School closures are impacting families around the world. Let’s hope these measures greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of those vulnerable to developing serious conditions. In my next post, I will make recommendations for educational learning materials and resources that I have found useful.

Published by

Maria Arana

Hi, I am Maria, a mom to three wonderful kiddos. My family and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We love the beauty of the desert southwest. I am a former primary teacher and elementary mathematics coach. For the last several years, I have focused on encouraging my children to follow their interests and passions. I believe the learning environment plays a key role in our experience in school and at home. It is as important as what and how we teach. We have the ability to create an environment that encourages imagination, creativity, and independence. Guided Learning Studio is a home based studio where I offer tutoring, enrichment classes and help learners follow their interests and passions.

2 thoughts on “A Few Tips for Learning from Home

  1. Maria, this is so inspiring, thank you for posting your experiences, as well as these great resources. I have been thinking a lot about learning in the age of social distancing. It seems like this current generation of K-12 students are adapting to it. They’ll likely use these disruptive times to become innovators and empathetic learners. Best to you and your family! – Adam https://theartsandeducation.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I had a low moment this afternoon when I felt overwhelmed. I think you are right about the current generation of students. They are likely to adapt to this new way of learning. My teens seem to be ready for remote learning, but not quite so thrilled to be stuck at home. We’ll have to give thought to their social/emotional well-being during this time away from their friends and peers.

      Liked by 1 person

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