Tips for families working and learning from home

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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For families with young children, University of Wisconsin-Madison educator and family engagement researcher Lorena Mancilla offers advice on how to create spaces and establish routines for learning and working effectively from home.

UW-Madison said in a press release Friday, with 40 U.S. states now closing public schools to slow the spread of COVID-19, parents have had little or no time to plan for keeping their children home 24/7. Suddenly, and in some cases overnight, families are figuring out how to live, learn and work - together and separately - all under one roof.

Many parents who haven't heard from their children's schools about alternatives to classroom instruction may be wondering if they also need to take on the role of an at-home substitute teacher.

Mancilla offers these tips for working and learning from home:

  • Set up separate spots in the home, as space permits, for children to learn and parents to work.
  • Keep the family's regular weekday schedule for waking up, bedtime and meals.
  • Gather resources for children to engage with, such as toys, games, books, online videos and drawing materials.
  • Schedule frequent breaks for kids and parents to move around, play and exercise.
  • Expect the unexpected.

Mancilla suggests starting slowly and setting daily goals. For example, select a one-hour learning activity for day one, followed by a two-hour activity on day two, and so on.

for more suggestions and resource links.