Mother. Employee. Boss. Teacher? These are some of the titles that we have owned for many years, but teacher is a new one. As many of us know, the 2020 Pandemic has been one that has taught us to be resilient and learn new skills from day to night. We have had to learn to take care of our kids, be their teachers, their motivators, their playmates, and their mothers, all while working full-time remotely. Many of us have had to be there for multiple clients around the clock while being moms and teachers.
I think that the hardest part of our lives making a complete 180 in a matter of weeks has been learning to teach our children. Kids are all different, with different attention spans, skills, needs and interests. Teachers already have a hard job, but they have been trained to be the best that they can be. It has been a real learning experience to have to pick up the books and be the teachers ourselves. We have gained a new perspective and a new appreciation for all that real teachers do for our children. With that said, below are my 5 remote learning tips to help make your life a little easier:
1. Amazon: We all know that Amazon is the go-to for just about anything. From clothing, to books, to décor, to shoes and food. For younger kids ages 4-8, Amazon has a lot of workbooks on writing, phonetics, math, and activities to keep them entertained and learning. I personally purchased a phonetics book to teach my kindergartener how to read and write. I also purchased a math workbook to help him stay on track. Remote learning will be hard on us as parents, but also on them. Although we might give them more attention and help them with their specific needs in a one-on-one environment, a teacher is an essential person for them. In school, teachers know how to adjust their lesson plans for the benefit of the kids. At home, we might not always know how to adjust or how to keep their attention, but these workbooks are very good at making it a little easier.
2. Apps and Websites: For older kids in second and third grade, there are apps and websites that do the teaching. All we have to do is monitor them and make sure that they are learning. With websites like ABC Mouse and apps like Khan Academy and Homer, teaching is even easier. These programs do the teaching and quizzing and are great at retaining the attention of our kids. These apps and websites are also good for kids 8-13 learning advanced reading skills, writing, vocabulary, math, and science.
3. YouTube: Many parents might think that YouTube is just a bunch of mindless videos of other kids opening toys and playing. But it is much more. YouTube is a great resource for educational purposes. Kids of any age can use YouTube (with parental controls) to learn. When I was in High School, we would use this platform when we needed more explanations on Algebra problems, Calculus and Geometry. There are also many educational videos that teach different science concepts, history, and math. Younger kids can also use YouTube to learn to read, to learn to count and to learn to play with others. I know for me personally, I used to let my toddler watch videos about numbers, the ABCs and other pre-school content which helped him be ahead of the curve when he started pre-school. So next time that you do not know how to explain something to your kids (no matter the age), YouTube it and you are sure to find a great video.
4. Pinterest: My go-to for any event, home décor and whenever I need ideas for anything. This summer when I was looking up ideas for kindergarten science projects to begin teaching my child some science, I could not find anything that was remotely entertaining on Google. So, I went to Pinterest. To my surprise, they had a lot of fun science and math Pins from other moms and bloggers. There are many Pins with long lists of projects to keep kids of any age entertained, arts and crafts ideas, reading activities, writing activities and math activities. Next time you are stuck and cannot find any fun ideas of educational projects to do with your kids, go on Pinterest and get motivated!
5. Social Media Support: This one is not specifically for your kids; it is for you. Moms have one of the hardest yet most fulfilling jobs in the world. When you are stuck with getting ideas on teaching your young babies, or just do not know how to properly explain something to your older kids, you can always go on a mom group. There are many mom groups, local and global, on Facebook that you can join. You can post questions, help others, and get help yourself. There are many independent bloggers that are moms and post articles on these topics. You can always do a hashtag or advanced topic search on Twitter if you are trying to find one of these bloggers. And, if you are the one with the ideas wanting to help other moms, then create your own mom group on Facebook to help. I think that these groups are great at motivating us, giving us ideas and help, and listening to us when we are frustrated and just do not know what to do.
In the end, all we have is each other and only we know the ups and downs of motherhood. I hope that these tips help you on your journey through motherhood and help you be the best mommy-teacher you can be for your kids.
Johana M. Caba, M.A. is a public relations professional and social media manager/marketer. She shares thought-leadership articles on her business blog (JM Blog) and on her social media accounts. Johana recently earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Communication from William Paterson University of New Jersey. You can learn more about Johana on her website and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.