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How to Cope with “Home Schooling” in Special Education

Families and Coping| Leadership & Collaboration | March 29, 2020

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Whether you are educators or family member, if you live in the U.S. in the time this is written, you’ve likely been asked to “home school” your child with support from your child’s teacher.  Coping with this type of home schooling when it wasn’t expected is not an easy thing for educators or families.

This type of home schooling is not really homeschool–it’s really distance learning.  But we aren’t following a true distance model because parents didn’t choose this as an option.  And finding a facilitator may be difficult (among other issues).

Educators have made a ginormous pivot to teaching in classrooms to teaching online or providing written materials for students to work on at home.  Parents have become the facilitators and sometimes the teachers of their children’s education, while still trying to work from home. And some are doing all this while also still working outside the home and trying to find childcare…much less educational support.  Plus we are doing this with the background of the largest healthcare crisis we have seen in our lifetimes.

Increasing Stress

Gee, I wonder why we’re stressed!  I mean, we can stay on the couch all day and watch Netflix, right?  Who knew that would get old? Right?

Well, really, who has time to sit on the couch and watch Netflix?  We are all scrambling trying to figure out how this new teacher supported home schooling is supposed to work.  I know I’ve been working like crazy to try to get training and supports out to the Special Educator Academy to help them plan instruction and cope with the new normal.  And I’ve simultaneously been working on trying to make some of my products digital so they can easily be sent home, preferably without having to print them.

Distance Learning is Stressful

The thing that makes this home schooling so hard, I think, is that no one asked for it.  There are many students who are home schooled or home schooled with online learning and support from certified teachers.  But that isn’t what happened here. As I talked about in episode 31, parents didn’t sign on to be facilitators for online or distance learning.  And many have commitments that make this difficult. In addition, the teachers didn’t ask to be distance instructors.  So I wanted to take a quick break from strategies to make distance learning work and talk a little about ways to cope, whether you are an educator or a family member, when you are thrust into this world of distance learning.

Highlights of Coping with Home Schooling During Covid-19

  • Tips for families on how to manage distance learning
  • Suggestions for educators to manage facilitating home schooling effectively
  • Sharing ideas for perspective for each group
  • Resources for support for families and educators

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When distance learning is thrust upon you: Coping for families and educators [girl with headphones at the computerr]

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