As the world has been plagued by COVID-19, parents are entering uncharted territory with their children’s education. While many children are able to independently access their school online, parents of children with disabilities are left to wonder, “What about my child?”
How to Do Online School with a Child with Disabilities
The Most Important Thing to Know When Doing Online School with Your Child
One of the most important things to realize when you are attempting to do online school with your child with a disability is, it’s okay to not to do school. Between worksheets, fine motor, gross motor, speech therapy, vision therapy, etc., there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all of those things! Especially if you have other children at home who need help.
Allow yourself to realize that your child will be fine if you don’t do all of the things with them every single day. You are not their educator, you are their parent. You need to find what will work for your family and find out what you are comfortable doing, even if that is only one thing once a week.
How to do Online School with a Child with Disabilities
Unlike a neurotypical child, your child with a disability will require one-on-one assistance when doing schooling online. Here are some tips that can help make that easier on the entire family: make it fun, go at your child’s pace, take breaks, use your resources, make time for yourself.
How to Make Online School Fun
Find different ways to teach your child something. Involve crafts, music, or games. No one likes to sit at a table all day and do boring worksheets. By finding creative ways to teach concepts, your child is more likely to want to learn and also retain the information.
Going at Your Child’s Pace
Every child is different, and every child is going to learn differently. If you have to work on the same concept for a few weeks, allow yourself and your child the time needed to learn that concept. On that same note, if your child is not understanding a concept and both of you are getting frustrated, it is okay to move on. You can take a break and then return to that concept at a later time.
Building off of that, it is okay to take breaks. Take little breaks, take day long breaks or even week-long breaks. It is important to realize that the more frustrated you get, the more frustrated your child will get. Allow both of you to take the time you need to make learning a success.
Using Your Resources
Tapping into your resources can be extremely valuable and helpful when trying to teach your child at home. Find other parents who are teaching their children and start a collaboration with them. Use technology to teach concepts or as a reward, use it to help teach the subjects your child struggles with the most.
Making Time for Yourself
You cannot pour from an empty cup. This is an extremely important concept to learn and realize. If you are running on empty, you are not going to be able to give any additional time or attention to your child.
Taking time for yourself can look differently for each person, you need to find what works for you. For some parents self-care could be a mani-pedi, an at home or at the spa facial, exercising, painting, doing a craft, reading, venting to a friend, taking a bath, or even showering. It is up to you to decide what helps you recharge your batteries. If you don’t know, explore and try new things to find what you love and what will help you take care of yourself.