Strategies for an engaging setup

Parents, do you remember teaching your child or children, how to walk or talk or how to read? What about how to ride a bike or even roller skate? Sure you do. All of these activities actually involve teaching all children. We had to plan how we would do so and provide multiple opportunities for them to demonstrate their success.

My name is Dr. Keisha Walker and I am the academic coordinator for the Master of Arts in Teaching at Walden University. Although working from home is what I do on a daily basis, like many of you, I have had to change my daily routine and take on the added role of teaching my children at home to admit this global pandemic.

These unexpected changes in a world of uncertainty have definitely caused an undesired level of stress, confusion, and panic, both amongst parents and students. As a result, it is my hope that by the end of this video, I would have provided a sense of calmness, affirmation, and cleared up a couple myths that are surrounding homeschooling.

Parents, we are our child's first teacher. We know our children better than anyone else. We know their strengths, their weaknesses. We know their interests. We know areas that require additional support to be successful.

So, parents, I implore you to embrace this prior knowledge of being your child's first teacher and affirm that you can do this. Consider reaching out to social networks or collaborating with other family members, colleagues, or friends to talk about other resources or strategies that they may use with homeschooling that they've found success with.

Let's eliminate some of the myths that may be causing some of this confusion about homeschooling. While you embrace your new role, eliminate the thoughts of trying to teach the same way your child's teacher taught or even adopting the same schedule. You're not expected to teach your child the remaining components of the curriculum. Instead, provide your child with a continuity of learning daily.

So what does that look like? Everyday living. Think about the math. We use math every day, especially with cooking. Include your children in making breakfast, lunch, or snacks, or dinner. Allow them to identify the measurements and how much of each ingredient is needed to feed each family member.

Calculate the average temperature for the week, or allow them to help with monthly budgeting or balancing your checkbook. Consider the plethora of free maths resources and websites available offering tutorials, worksheets, daily math challenges by grade level.

Reading is one of my favorite activities with my family. Engage in a family book study, have a discussion about what was read or favorite characters, or make comparisons to other books on similar topics. If your child is reading their own books, allow them to share a chapter summary with the family, make predictions about what will happen next,

Writing, this, by far, is the best time to practice writing, especially journaling. This could also be a family activity, allowing everyone the opportunity to free-write to clear their minds. Allow your child to write a story about what their plans are or what they're going to do when things go back to normal. You may have to put it in time on that task because if your child is anything like mine, all she does is talk about what she's going to do when things get back to normal.

Engaging Homeschooling Strategies

Another confusing myth is thinking you have to teach the full school day, or that your child needs to be working on an educational task or activity all day long. This is not true and this will burn both you and your child out really fast. Establishing a consistent schedule, including the assignments and tasks to be completed is essential.

Including your child and creating this schedule will create buy-in. Include family activities like board games, completing puzzles, or card games. Offer opportunities to celebrate success or the completion of milestones. Take baby steps. Remember, the goal is continuity and learning, not busy work, or doing an activity in every subject every day.

Lastly, let's address calmness. While there may not be an immediate end date in sight, we must adopt a level of mindfulness as we go through with this pandemic. Take time out for fun, fitness, and relaxation, family walks, and exercise, meditation, and yoga.

These activities help calm our brains and bring our present to the now. Concentrate on breathing and how your body and children respond to calmness. Relieve the stress and anxiety caused by this global pandemic with guided meditation or mindfulness activities.

Take back your sanity and establish your new normalcy. Make sure your family schedule also includes physical fitness, fun, relaxation, and definitely rests in addition to the educational activities. It is doable and I implore you, embrace your affirmation of parent educator and establish your new normalcy. You got this. I wish you the best. Thank you.

Were you thrust into educating your child at home? Did you feel unprepared? Not sure what you are doing? We're here to help. This video is part of an initiative to help you make the most out of educating at home. Lots of tips from a variety of experts on the subject.

Get all of the tips at

The goal is continuity and learning, not busy work, or doing an activity in every subject every day.

Key Takeaways:

Embrace being a parent educator.
Research, reach out and collaborate with a social network that shares homeschooling resources.
Take back your sanity and establish your new normalcy.

Educating at Home - Dr. Kisha Walker

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