Tips for HomeSchooling: Keeping Children with Learning Differences on Track During COVID-19

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To say that the coronavirus has impacted many, if not all, aspects of our lives would be an understatement – with our children’s education being no exception. Rachel Turniansky, director of disability and inclusion services at the Macks Center for Jewish Education (CJE), and SHEMESH staff, have put together a list of tips and tricks you can use to make sure your child with learning differences can still learn effectively from home.

1. Keep To A Schedule (But Remain Flexible)

It’s important to keep to a schedule as much as possible. You can even consider creating a visual schedule, using pictures found online. Use images to represent each activity, even for kids who are reading, to add interest and make it easy to reference. Set goals and celebrate accomplishments. Remain flexible in case things don’t go according to plan. Give yourself some more time for activities and be ready to put things aside even if they aren’t completed – turn it into a teachable moment.

2. Learn New Things Together

There are a lot of resources available at our fingertips, and YouTube, for example has many great tutorials for learning crafts, cooking and even Sign Language! You can even take a virtual tour of a museum. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate physical activities! Look for online yoga or other exercises that would be fun and new for your kids.

3. Read Every Day

Reading doesn’t have to only be instructional. Even if your child’s teacher has given virtual schoolwork, spend some time enjoying reading for pleasure. Reading aloud to children allows them to enjoy content that might be above their reading level as well as making it a fun bonding experience. Feel free to get creative too! Act out favorite stories or write your own version of your favorite book but with a different ending.

4. Create A Learning Space

Consider the type of physical set up that works best for each child. Some might be better off in a space with limited distractions while others might do best with alternative seating or standing up. Get creative and try different settings to find what works. If you have multiple children, and are able, set up a space for each of your kids. Find locations that have materials readily available. If you can, pick a location with an outlet in case you need to charge a computer or other electronic devices.

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