Teachers have long experienced the forgetfulness of fall. It’s known as summer brain drain and refers to the skills kids lose over the summer like math facts and reading and writing fluency. The first weeks of school usually include lessons that help remind and refresh kids as they get back into swing of school. But now as home educators, we’re going to see what it takes for the summer fog to lift.
At our house, the first subject, of the first day of distance learning, was math and like students everywhere, our student wasn’t doing algebra over the summer, so he was a bit rusty. I kept hearing my daughter say, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”. “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally!“ “PLEASE EXCUSE MY DEAR AUNT SALLY!!!” There’s no Aunt Sally in the family, so I didn’t know what she was talking about. Then I remembered Aunt Sally is a mnemonic for the order of operations in math; Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. I must admit I needed that reminder, as did our seventh grader. And so, with a little warm up 7th grade math has officially begun.
As you start the school year, notice what subjects or things your student might need to brush up on. It’s usually reading and math. Don’t panic. Give your kids time and grace to brush up. If you need suggestions on extra ways to help make it happen, ask the classroom teacher. Whatever you do, keep light and fun. With a little warm up time and they’ll be back in the saddle.
And don’t be surprised if your kids need a little afternoon nap. Even older kids. It’s exhausting to switch gears and dust of old skills. It exhausting to sit at a computer all day. Change in any daily routine can be exhausting. Consider a quiet time after school, maybe a snack and movie time, in case they need to ‘accidently’ fall asleep.
Whatever stage you’re in, communicate with kindness. Get help where needed. Take breaks. Have fun at recess. Take recess yourself. Be thankful. And celebrate the victories.
Distance learning is new to most of us. Lucky for you, I have an eBook full of tips to help you and your child rock distance learning this Fall. Click the image to get your FREE copy.