Grandparents Teach, too: Learning from home and school now

Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling and Iris Katers. (Journal photo)

Whether children are learning from home, school, or a combination about now is a good time to evaluate. How is it going? How is the home study space working? People who study this have some suggestions to setup a learning space no matter what the environment. The key words are routine, organization, breaks, and flexibility.


Whether it is a parent or other family member taking this on, experts suggest setting up every weekday like a school day whether the children are going to school full time, part time, or going to a spot in the home. Everyday plan for math, language arts, reading for relaxation, social studies, science, art music, and exercise. Get up, make the bed, clean up, dress up and eat breakfast. Start with the least favorite subject, break for snack, run around outside, and get back to work. Come back in and do the second favorite subject. Eat lunch, go outside. Read for twenty minutes in some way. Then do favorite subjects interrupted by a snack and break.

Finish when the usual school day is over and assess the day. What are three things that went well. What is one thing that can be improved? Remember to give lots of praise even for tiny baby steps of growth.


Reassess often. Is your plan working? Are you and the children getting our work finished in relative peace? Is there good lighting? Are they doing work at a table not sprawled on the couch? Can young children’s feet touch the floor? Put a box under their feet if they cannot touch the floor. Children need about a 2×3 foot table space to call their own.

Some children can learn certain subjects with others around. Sometimes they need absolute silence to think. Everyone agrees that the bedroom should be avoided because children will easily get off task and they are very adept at changing sites on the computer. Get in the habit of recharging the electronics every night.

Bins and folders are handy for papers and materials Keep every paper in case you need to go back to something. All study materials should be handy including a water bottle to avoid distractions.

Every child is different. Some will need more breaks than others. A good run around the outside of the house a few times is a quick exercise break before getting back to business.

Breaks and Flexibility

Carrots work much better than sticks, an old teacher saying goes. Breaks and special activities at night and weekends are good rewards. Have a family conference to decide what rewards you all need. Most of the time children will choose special time playing games or doing outside recreation with adults. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning through the seasons.


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