Tips for homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Have your kids participated in online teacher tutorials yet?  Many students haven’t but taking advantage of tutorials may be beneficial in several ways.

Typically when we think of tutoring, it’s to get extra help in an area where you may be having trouble, but for most teachers who are offering online tutorials now, it’s so much more than that.

"Hi. Hi, everybody. Hi. Hi,” the kids sang in harmony as they greeted one another virtually.

Coming together with classmates and your teacher after being away from everyone for weeks can be more exciting than you might imagine.

"Oh gosh it’s wonderful. There’s a lot of laughter. There’s smiling,” says West Lake Middle School 8th grade Reading & Language Arts Teacher Kischma Channette.

Sometimes there’s comic relief.

"I have a question,” says Conner. 

“Ok, go for it,” answers Channette. 

"I forgot the question,” laughs Conner, and all the kids and Mrs. Channette chime in, laughing.

"When we have tutorials, whether it’s one on one or a small group, it benefits the students because it allows us to reconnect,” explains the Humble ISD educator, who says tutorials at a time like this can be helpful for kids socially, emotionally and, of course, academically. 

Whether it’s tutorials or email, Channette suggests staying in contact with your child’s teachers.

“Especially the child. If they could communicate with their teacher at least once a week that will help maintain that sense of normalcy. It will allow the teacher to give feedback to the student as to what they should be doing at home. It could also provide a sense of comfort for kids." 

Sticking to a routine can also help keep the chaos away.

“My son has to get up at 10 a.m. and he can work for an hour or so, take a break, work for an hour, take a break,” Channette explains. 

As the kitchen, bedroom and backyard become the new classroom, Mrs. Channette says continuing to lean on teachers for help will make "school at home" a lot easier.

“Teachers are at the ready to help parents and students. That’s what we’re here for.  We’re here, not just for the students, but for parents as well," she says. 

Mrs. Channette says remember you don’t have to replicate the classroom environment at home.  She says be flexible and when everyone needs a mental break, take one.