At Home Behavior Supports
Transitioning to school at home is a big change for our students and us as parents! Many of the same positive, proactive supports that we put into place in your children’s’ classroom can be modified for the home setting. Below are a few suggestions that may help make your remote learning time more successful:
1) Try to provide warnings ahead of transitions:
“In 5 minutes we are turning off the TV and we will start our math assignment”. When it is time to transition, give clear directions: “Thanks for turning off the TV! grab your iPad and pencil and come meet me at the kitchen table” Provide praise when your child transitions well!
2) Discuss with your child your expectations for when you also have work to do:
This could be things such as “when I am on a conference call, you can write down your question and hand it to me” or “if you get hungry while I am working, I set out three snack choices for you” or “If you can’t figure out this assignment while I am on a work call, you can go on Epic or Dreambox until I can help you”.
3) Encourage independence:
At school our students are encouraged to ask a friend before asking their teacher if they have questions about an assignment. You can encourage your child to ask an older sibling. Use technology to your advantage as well! You can have your child ask “Alexa” or “Google” how to spell a word or define a word if you have a smart speaker. Encourage your child to email their teacher with questions as opposed to you doing it for them.
4) Create a family positive behavior system:
This is uncharted territory for us both as educators and parents. Look to create a system that rewards the behaviors we want our children to display and all work together. This could be a poster where you all earn stars for being helpful or kind or following directions without whining. Once your family gets a certain number of stars (start low, you want this to be attainable within a week or less!) they can earn a fun family reward. A nature scavenger hunt, a special cooking project, or a family indoor picnic or movie night are all fun rewards. Another positive support that many students are familiar with is putting a marble (you can use pebbles, or cotton balls as well) for displaying certain behaviors. Try to target one thing at a time and be specific–”Listening to mom and dad on the first ask” is always a good one! Put an item in the jar each time that behavior is displayed and when the jar is filled they can turn it in for a fun activity (see suggestions above). I would suggest having these systems be something all kids in the family are working towards together to encourage working as a family team!