Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Four tips to turn your living room into a classroom during the Quarantine

“Taking things to different places in the house or outside the house can be a gamechanger for kids when it comes to learning.” Photo Credit: Creative Commons

By: Jeff Witthuhn

The coronavirus threw school districts for a loop and now they have to  reinvent the way they teach kids. The transition to online schooling hasn’t come without its challenges, but school districts have done what they can to assist the parents when it comes to their child’s education during the quarantine. After speaking to some parents of kids in the preschool and elementary school age, here are some of the tips from local teachers and parents to help ease the stress of teaching from home. 

Keep online learning to thirty minutes or less.

Daniel and Chelsea Emrich, a Costa Mesa couple, have a six year old son who’s in preschool. When the stay-at-home order passed, Chelsea started teaching their son at home. Daniel mentions that he likes how the schools get the information to kids, but also says, “It’s very reliant on parents being involved in the process of teaching the kids.” 

Their son attends Instagram live sessions with his teacher three times a week for three hours. “We noticed that our son tends to lose focus after about thirty minutes of his video classes so we don’t try to push it more than that to avoid wasting time when it comes to learning,” says Daniel. With the ability to do the classroom sessions at their own pace, Daniel and Chelsea like to break them up so their son doesn’t lose interest 

Give kids specific times for snacks and lunch breaks. 

Keeping kids on a schedule is something that can be crucial to help teaching at home go smoothly. Lucy Pacheco, an accountant for a concrete company in Irvine,  has a daughter in the first grade and is struggling to adjust to working from home and being a teacher. “I do my best to set up her at-home breaks around the same time every day,” Pacheco says. Without any bells to signal the start and end of class, Pacheco has made up her own schedule, “I have her lunches set up to be at 12:30 every day and once she is done eating, we go on a walk around our apartment complex to get some fresh air.”

Know your technology. 

Cindy Reyes, a third grade teacher who works for the Norwalk School District, emphasizes that parents should learn the tech tools their kids are using.  In her district, students were already using computers and tablets in the classroom, so they are doing similar work at home that they were doing before school transitioned online. 

“The hardest part was getting parents up to speed on how to connect tablets to the internet and download apps the kids need to complete assignments,” Reyes says.. 

Make sure they have time outside, if possible. 

Being stuck inside all day can be hard for a child, especially when they are in elementary school. Lucy Pacheco mentions, “Being cooped up inside is hard for a kid so I make sure we go outside every day before we sit down for dinner to get any of the excess energy out of her system to end out the day.” Getting kids outside as safely as possible while abiding by local guidance from government and health officials can be tricky. Pacheco tries to get creative with outside play, even though she’s limited to the backyard or walking around the block. “I make sure that we play some kinds of games when we are outside and walking around like counting cars that drive by on the street,” Pacheco says.

Taking things to different places in the house or outside the house can be a gamechanger for kids when it comes to learning. Daniel Emrich explains how a change in scenery helps. “We go out to the patio and change the learning space to add a different kind of stimulus to the day.”.