CLEVELAND — It's an unprecedented time, and with the closing of schools across the country, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids on top of learning.

Some of us are wondering what to do with our kids at home:

  • Should we make schedules?
  • Are the kids watching too much TV?
  • Are they getting enough exercise?
  • Are their brains being stimulated enough?

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The one bit of good news here? Because so many of us are in the same boat, there's a lot of ideas we can share with one another. 

As many parents struggle with feelings of isolation, it's actually the perfect time for us to come together and build a community of knowledge from our own home school experiences to share with one another.

One person who relates to these feelings on both a personal and professional level, is K-5 teacher, Melanie Leone. As an educator and mom of three, she gets the struggle.

But, Leone says there's a lot parents can do to get their kids to enjoy learning at home.

Check out Leone's helpful tips below...

KEEPING KIDS MOTIVATED AT HOME:  

"I think we're all worried that our kids are not going to be as motivated to work as they are for their classroom teacher. So let's talk about that. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your child is part of the process. Sit them down and come up with a schedule together. Let them decide a little bit about where they want to do reading. Where do they want to do math? When do they want school to start? What do they want school to end? Being a part of that goes a long way to make sure that it's balanced."

KEEPING KIDS MOVING:

"Make sure that you're giving your child plenty of time for movement. They need to move if it's possible and you're able to social distance yourself. Get them outside. Get some fresh air every day. Make sure that their body is moving because the brain works so much better when kids have an opportunity to move their bodies. So make sure it's a balanced schedule."

STAYING PLUGGED IN:

"Make sure that they plug in virtually. There are so many districts who are really working hard to create virtual opportunities and learning opportunities for your child. Make sure that they are taking full advantage of all of those. If you're a district, it perhaps isn't as on top of that, reach out to friends and family. This is a great time to start having sideline conversations with people, with other districts. What is your district doing? What are they providing? Do you have any resources you could share with me? Reach out. Find resources in the communities around you to make sure that your child is getting ample opportunity to get the resources they need."

TAP INTO THEIR INTERESTS:

"This is a great time to dig into some things that are of interest to your child. Kids will work and learn more when they are interested in what they're learning. Right now, my kids are really into space. They got a telescope recently so they have a lot of space questions. So, we're going to learn a lot about space, answer a lot of their questions, do a lot of research, do a lot of reading, do a lot of writing. I'm sure some math will fly in there, as well."

BUILDING A COMMUNITY WITH OTHER PARENTS:

"Look for ways to build community. I started a Facebook page for just local friends and family to kind of plug in and give some activities and some lessons that I'm doing with my children. They can tweak them and use them and then have the kids share their learning. That is huge. If you can find virtual ways where they can connect with other kids, share what they're learning about, share their excitement on what they're doing at home. That's going to go a long way for getting them excited to learn. Best of luck and, let's do this!"

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