UND publishes advice for parents learning to teach children remotely
UND College of Education & Human Development faculty outlines tips for homeschooling kids
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Marcus Weaver-Hightower is a professor of educational foundations and research at UND, but he’s also a parent.
When his children’s schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, his education background gave him a leg up on knowing how to teach his own kids, but he quickly realized not everyone was in that same boat.
“It occurred to me that parents out there who haven’t been career educators are probably feeling even more anxious about it,” explains Weaver-Hightower. “As a college of education here at UND, we have so much expertise in how to teach people how to teach.”
To make this happen, faculty members of UND College of Education and Human Development published advice for parents who are learning to homeschool.
Weaver- Hightower says some of the challenges parents face are learning to multitask, understanding new technology and course work that is different from when they were in school, and feeling the pressure of making sure their children are properly educated.
In order to create an environment at home that allows a child to focus, he assures parents not too become too strict or overbearing.
“Don’t try to become the school master,” says Weaver-Hightower. “You don’t have to be watching over your kids shoulder all the time. You don’t have to be making sure that they are on task every second.”
The advice also recommends keeping kids active throughout the day, setting some type of routine and allowing kids to have a say in how they choose to learn.
“I think it is great for kids to feel like they have a sense of control,” says Weaver-Hightower. “If it makes no difference when they do their math homework, give them a choice. They will be more motivated. They’ll be more relaxed.”
Weaver-Hightower also says the extra time at home is a good chance to teach children life skills.
“Even high school kids, they are about to go off to college in a few years, why not teach them how to run a load of laundry and separate the colors from the whites?” asks Weaver-Hightower.
For parents who are struggling with understanding theirs kid’s coursework, Weaver-Hightower suggests reaching out directly to their child’s teacher for some help.