Preparing for at-home school success
Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Dallas ISD Board of Trustees delays school start; conditions will determine online only vs. in-person schooling
In a recent announcement from the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, the first day of school has been moved from August 17 to September 8. At-home learning vs. in-person learning depends on the COVID-19 threat level closer to the scheduled start date; currently both are being prepared, with a re-entry playbook for students to guide the process of returning to school.
As the threat level changes, the options for at-home and in-person learning adjust according to the model prepared from last academic year.
If it is your preference to have your child attend school at home this year, or if it is a necessity because of COVID-19 threat conditions, setting up a proper learning area will greatly improve your child’s learning experience. Some studies (like this one) show that a comfortable, clean, safe learning environment improves student performance, so making sure your child’s at-home environment is on par with their at-school cleanliness, organization, and routine is worth the effort.
Devoting an entire room to learning is great but likely may not be practical for most families. But a single desk or table that is clean and adjusted to the right height for your child is accessible and important. Remember to offer a stool under your child’s feet if the chair is too high for little legs to reach the floor.
Because your home becomes the “school” while your child learns at home, some families find that anchoring to a single clean, clutter-free desk is a great starting point, but making full use of the entire home--inside and outdoors-- is most engaging and enjoyable.
Beyond ensuring your learning environment is clean, organized, and comfortable, it’s important to maintain a routine that is predictable and comforting. This helps your child feel calm and secure in knowing what is expected and how to meet these expectations.
Beyond keeping the learning environment organized and free of clutter, a great way to boost your child’s performance is displaying their student work (like art and graded papers) to recognize their effort.
Most of all, remember that learning happens everywhere. Schooling… learning… is a process, not a place. While we all celebrate and appreciate schools and teachers more than ever before, we are realizing that our children are adaptable and can learn in virtually any appropriate environment. Becoming educated and inspired can happen anywhere a child feels calm, safe, and encouraged to be their best. With a little time and attention, your home can support your child’s learning for as long as needed or preferred.
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