Utah Schools have never been dismissed for such a long time and it's been a learning curve in many ways.
Sarah Young, director of strategic initiatives for the Utah State Board of Education shared with us what they have learned works and doesn't so parents and teachers can make home school better.
Utah State Board of Education has overall had a very positive response from students, parents and caregivers. They have embraced this challenge, and are thriving under difficult circumstances.
Here are the lessons learned they have learned and what can be done to make home school better:
1. Schedules with variety work best: Most children thrive with structure. We know what`s working and what`s not working well. When considering at home learning, it`s important for children to have a schedule that includes a variety of different activities. Not just screen time.
2. Opportunities to connect with friends: School isn't just about classroom instruction, or teacher directed lessons. It`s about social connection and development too. Social connection is still necessary while we`re asked to social distance for each other. Identify solutions to meet the social needs of children while the soft closure continues. Consider the safe digital and personal options available to meet these social needs, like Google Hangout. And if it`s not Google Hangout, what is it?
3. Step away from the learning: Students remain engaged in learning when opportunities extend beyond the online classroom. There is not a more important time, than time spent as a family. Step away by spending time outside, playing together or working on the yard. Engage as a family by playing games or puzzles, making crafts, writing letters, baking a treat, etc.
4. Communicate needs and expectations with your teachers: We recognize there is incredible pressure on parents today as they balance work, life and now in-home learning. Connect with your teachers and administrators. Doing so will allow everyone to work together to identify clear objectives and expectations, while considering the needs of your family.