School at Home Daily Tip: Consult the Kids

Now that we've had some experience working at home with children, it's time to pause and reflect on what's working and what should be changed. Who should you ask to help you reevaluate? The kids!

By Momentous Institute | Apr 08, 2020
Consult The Kids

By now, we’ve had some experience working at home with children. Just as many workplaces do regular check-ins and performance reviews, it’s time to pause and reflect on what’s working and what should be changed. We suggest you form a focus group to help you – the kids!

Gather the children together and ask them the following questions. Really listen to their responses and consider what changes you might be able to make. Let them know that not every suggestion may work, but that you’ll do your best to honor their feedback.

Questions to consider:

  • What do you like so far about schooling at home?
  • What is your favorite part of our “school” day?
  • If you could change one thing about school at home, what would it be?
  • What do you wish I knew about school at home? 

You may be surprised what you learn! You may hear feedback on the workload, the schedule, or the environment. Here are some examples of ways you can adapt your day to respond to feedback.

Example: The child says he feels like he has too much schoolwork.

Possible change: Take a look at the blocks of time dedicated to schoolwork. Are they at his most productive time of day? If they’re in the afternoon, consider moving to the morning, or vice versa. Does he have one long block of time for schoolwork? Can it be broken up into two shorter chunks of time?

 

Example: The child says he wants more time to play.

Possible change: Ask him what part of the day he might be willing to shift to allow for more play. Most children will want to give up something that can’t be given up, such as schoolwork, but you can still consider how to shift the schedule to accommodate. For example, you may find ways to motivate him to complete his work in a more timely manner to have extra play time, or you may rearrange the schedule to have play immediately follow work time.

 

Example: The child says she doesn’t like the way you act when you’re in the role of teacher.

Possible change: Children are used to parents in the role of parent, and not the role of teacher. This new transition can be challenging for kids, too, as they get used to having a parent enforce expectations that are typically handled at school. As a result, the child may have a hard time taking a parent seriously as teacher, or may not like the way the parent enforces schooltime expectations. If this is the case, you might ask for specific suggestions on what they’d like to see different. Even if you’re not able to change anything, you may be able to dedicate 10-minute chunks of time to slip back into the role of parent and play, read or do other parent-child activities together, dropping the role of teacher temporarily.

These are just examples of what you may learn when you invite children into the conversation. Remember, this is all new for them as well. The more they feel that they have some agency in this situation, the more successful this process will be for everyone.

For more school at home daily tips, click here.