We stopped homeschooling a few days ago, and started distance learning at our local elementary school. Last year the distance learning was very difficult. We utilized a new program called Seesaw and there was a big learning curve to master all of the work that was given. The instruction-which can either be synchronous: students learn the same thing in real time with live interaction, asynchronous: students complete course work at anytime at their own pace or both- was mostly asynchronous. The teacher would only meet with the students to allow them to interact with each other and ask a few questions. There was no educational instruction what so ever, in the meets. For instruction there were a few videos when dealing with math concepts, but nothing during their meetings. This year it seems to be a little different, and I am so grateful.
We are still using the Seesaw program as well as other applications. We have an IPad and use the IPad pencil to work on the Seesaw application, since the keypad is touch screen and my child needs to learn how to write. The learning curve was very difficult because the teacher wanted us to use the touch keypad to type words for some of the words. We have not been practicing typing at all. My child is six years old, and probably has only used the typing tool during computer time at school. Because the distance learning schedule last year was very open ended, and all of the work was on a computer, I disliked (and still dislike this) requirement. I don’t want to focus on the negative in this blog, so I will write about how our schedule has changed due to the distance learning introduction.
We wake up earlier, since the meets are at 8.30 am and if we are late we will be marked late. It’s helped so much with our days! We meet twice a day and the teachers communicate with the students. At first I was sitting next to my child because she keeps finding activities to do during the meetings. Now I give her a head set and I step away. We have two teachers with two different teaching styles, which I love. They instruct on different days but so far we are just doing introductions.
Once again the homework is taking us longer to complete than the worksheets we have been working on during the two weeks of homeschooling. It is the introduction of the electronic device that causes this, so we have set new rules to help curb the distraction. The first rule is, no shows until after school. There has been an obsession to watch shows on Netflix and Disney plus due to the summer show free for all. This obsession also started when we first started Distance learning in March. Since the tablets were only used for games and shows, switching the thought process of using them for learning was and is still a process. The second rule is that we can not go outside and play until we are done with school to motivate my child. I will write the rules down and share that in a future blog. I also needed to organize myself, and I did this by using a digital planner.
This digital planner is so helpful! The teachers have included a schedule so, I have to blend both my schedule with the one that they provide. Because I am including different workbooks, and additional instruction, I need to blend both schedules. Here is a link for the etsy shop I purchased the planner at: Digital teacher planner. There is also a free one that I accessed from this site.
I’ve also joined two different conferences that I found here. I’m hoping they will help deal with my six year olds personality and also give me different resources to assist during this tough time. The Carolina Homeschool conference has not started, but the Crash Course to Homeschooling is on it’s second day. I do not have an affiliate link to these, I am just mentioning them because I think they might be helpful and they are not too expensive.
So far we have just started this distance learning process, so our schedule is still all over the place. I have not ironed out all of the bumps, but I will continue to write a blog to share my learning experience and hopefully this helps you as well. Let me know if it has helped, or if you have tips for me, too.