Thursday, March 19, 2020

Using Google Slides to Create a Distance Learning Routine

Ok, maybe it's time to get back to the blog! I've been away for a while juggling full time art teacherin' and living life with my four kids, husband and myriad of pets.

Working from home has just started for me. I'm teaching Art to grades 6-8 art and monitoring the studies of my four children who range from elementary age to high school. I'm a bit overwhelmed, but keeping a semblance of a schedule is hopefully going to help.

In my art in-school class, students are greeted with a slide projected on the whiteboard telling them what they'll be learning today. I thought doing the same for my personal children would be nice--so out came the computer and Google Slides. I've been waking my children up and we have breakfast together at 8:00. We "meet" and go over the day's slide with the plan for the day.
An example of today's slide.
Google Slides makes it easy to create
a slide with images from the internet or your computer.

For my personal children I also have a second slide. This is more of a schedule to show major meetings and appointments that we all need to be aware of. I set this slide up on an ipad in the kitchen and the kids can walk by and "swipe up" to see the slide and check in. I probably check this far more than they do, but my littlest one has enjoyed it.
Slide 2: This is the slide that is displayed during the day
to keep us on track.

Do my children like this? Well, some are tolerating it (high schoolers), and others are pushing back on having a schedule at all (middle schooler!). But my elementary kiddo and I really like it. I cannot possibly keep track of everyone without some sort of schedule. Also, this isn't vacation--at least in my district. I'm still expected to work and my kids are expected to be doing work. It cannot be a free for all.

Will this work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. But I will tell you that this is a HUGE transition and if I can create a sense of normalcy during this time, I will. Keep it simple. This is what I know. If you know someone who home schools already, reach out--home schoolers, we need you! Or find a trusted friend and ask what they are doing. Stay away from the negative people and the ones who say they aren't having their kiddos do anything--that's not going to help you feel any better or come up with solutions for how to work through this time.

Be kind to yourself.
Your house will get messy.
You will feel overwhelmed.
You may get frustrated at times.
You won't always stick to the schedule (especially if you are in the zone having fun or working on a project).

I hope you find this helpful. Please share how YOU manage work and kiddos at home to keep everyone on track--I'd love to hear from you!

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