Whether your child is going back to school entirely, learning remotely, or doing some sort of hybrid, chances are, you’re going to need to take on more responsibilities than just those of a parent. Becoming a teacher during this time must be daunting. I worked in a third and fourth grade classroom a few years back, and even with the school open it was tough work. It’s hard to feel productive normally, let alone with having your home become a makeshift office and classroom. To help out all of you new teachers out there, I spoke with my friend Molly, a preschool teacher in New York. She recommended a few things to make learning from home a little easier.
SETTING THINGS UP
Getting organized and staying organized is essential for any teacher. Molly recommends a whiteboard, that way, “you can make a schedule to help set clear guidelines for when it’s playtime and when it’s time to learn. This also helps allocate time for each activity. Erase it and then make a new schedule for the next day.” She also says a printer is also extremely helpful. “With it, you can print out worksheets, worksheets, coloring pages, anything really.” The possibilities are endless.
VizPro Magnetic Dry Erase Board
EXPO Dry Erase Markers
FOR LEARNING TIME
Learning doesn’t have to be just equations and spelling tests. Molly says “Building promotes fine motor skills, math and engineering skills, logical thinking, and spatial awareness.” These magna tiles are great for building and solo play, so a parent can get some work done.
Alternatively these flashcards are great, depending on how old your child might be. Another idea is to make your own flashcards of things in your home. “Seeing things labeled in their home is really helpful for kids.”
Sight Words Flashcards
For STEM, Molly recommended this Butterfly Growing Kit for getting your kid interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s super fun to watch the butterflies come alive and educational, too. Another option, she said, “is to buy some seeds and plant a garden together.”
FOR GETTING ENERGY OUT
Hey, recess is part of school too. Molly says, “Fancy tape is a great way to make different designs on the floor for obstacle courses and races. This is a great way to promote movement in an enclosed space, so that your child can get the wiggles out, even if they don’t have an open field to run in.”
Another option Molly recommended, Weighted Plush Animals because “they are naturally soothing to the nervous system while still being great for playing games or pushing it around in a stroller to get the energy out.”
Weighted Lap Dog
You need something for you. As a teacher, caffeine is a lifesaver. Get a good mug, like this one, that keeps your caffeinated beverage of choice hot, so you can have the energy you need to win the teacher of the year award.
Miir Camp Cup
IDEAS USING THINGS YOU MIGHT ALREADY HAVE AT HOME
Finally, there are a lot of great ways to use things you already have at home. One thing Molly stressed right now was dramatic play. Because kids aren’t hanging out with friends as much, children can still practice socialization with dolls, pots, pans, whatever is around, so they can improve their social skills, such as empathy.
Another great recommendation from Molly was to make graphs out of Fruit Loops to teach math. You could also use marbles to demonstrate addition and subtraction.
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