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Coronavirus closes schools: Expert advice about how to embark on ‘distance learning’ at home

Connecticut Families

(WTNH)– School looked different Monday as kids around the state set-up work stations in their own homes.

Charlotte Smith has five kids, ranging in age from 4 to 10. Their schools started “distance learning” due to the coronavirus update last week.

“Mom, Cruise Director, has a spread sheet about what subjects the kids have to do,” says Smith, a blogger in Southport, who encourages the kids to start the day with an active lesson like writing sentences instead of watching videos.

“Everyday we get better….both teachers, as to what they’re assigning, and parents, in terms of how we’re navigating it,” she added.

“Darwin says it’s not about intelligence or strength that keeps a species surviving, it’s adaptability and we all have to adapt now and that takes time and focus,” says Ruth Freeman, founder of Peace at Home Parenting.

She advises parents to take time to transition. We don’t have to have the perfect schedule right away. Have family meetings and engage the kids in figuring out what will work for them.

“Some kids are going to tell you, ‘Just leave it up to me, I’ll be fine,’ and some parents know that’s not going to work for these kids but give them two or three days to try that,” she says.

Then, gauge success. If he needs a new work flow, have a talk.

“Will a consequence help? Will doing school before electronics help?” she asks, modeling how to talk to the child. “Do you want to do socializing for an hour, then school work, then more socializing? Work on an arrangement with that child that will help.”

Freeman believes we’ll all come out of this crisis with new skills.

“Be willing to be a learner. You and your child have to learn how to do this,” says Freeman. “You have to learn how to support them.”

Smith says, so far, so good but she jokes, check back in a week.

“I think kids are so flexible fundamentally and we set the tone,” says Smith. “So, we’re going to figure it out.”

Peach at Home Parenting’s free resources — like online classes and Facebook events — for families during this challenging time can be found online.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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