Preface to Article, By Mary Miele:
I have been speaking with many families and educators who are going to be working with students during the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers, who normally work in the classroom are setting off to partner with families to teach children in their homes during the 2020-2021 school year. Evolved is setting out to support these teachers in their endeavor to create personalized school programs for students which include elements of homeschooling and tutoring.
As an educational expert who has spent over 25 years in the field of education - working with students and schools from nursery-college, and as someone who intimately understands how to create school support in partnership with families - I am very interested in providing teachers with support - starting this summer and carrying through the school year, 2020-2021 - in order to ensure their success in their pursuit of At-Home Schooling.
Evolved Education is offering a course this summer to support teachers who will be conducting home school programs. This course will lead to monthly support from September 2020-May 2021. The course is open for teachers world-wide to participate in. You can learn more about the course and register here.
This article has some tips for educators as they begin to think about their work with their family's this fall. We hope these tips set you on your journey in an informed and supported way!
Be sure you know the laws and the requirements you have to follow for home schooling.
For US Educators: Here is a helpful site to look at.
You will want to understand the requirements you have to follow and any documentation you will need to submit to the government before you begin to work with your family.
Conduct a holistic intake and assessment with your student.
The time you spend before you start working with a student is crucially important to any at-home-school program.
You will want to dig deep into the student you are tasked to teach in a holistic manner.
For many experienced classroom teachers, this is a new experience because of the new perspective you are tasked to take.
In the classroom, you primarily assess and work with the student in a controlled environment which you perceive and develop. A classroom educator will:
- focus on the academic skills and development of the understanding of concepts
- teach social skills in conjunction with other students/peers in a classroom setting
- develop physical skills in collaboration with art, music and physical education teachers
- build emotional awareness and skills within the constructs of the school environment and along with social workers or counselors, or other support programs commissioned by the school which may include the Yale RULER program.
The biggest change for any educator who is moving from the classroom to a home has to do with the scope of work and perspective change you will encounter as you teach.
In addition, those entering the "at home school" work during the 2020-2021 school year will encounter a very different environment of at-home education than those prior (which I speak to later in this article).
At-Home educators will need to:
- Assess a student holistically and consider specific individual areas of development which exist within the home and school environment
- Include planning which considers a student's interests and areas of curiosity
- Develops skills which are built within the home environment - much of which is out of the control of the educator (in the course I teach, I talk about ways to plan in partnership with parents and other family members to gain more control over the schooling environment)
- Coach through the process of getting the work done - building independence and key executive functioning skills
- Innovatively seeking opportunities to develop a student's social, emotional, and physical skills and understanding of concepts - especially during the pandemic period.
- Partner with other educators to pull resources and ideas as you work with your student and family.
We've created a free PDF to help guide your intake.
Make plans which consider your student, the curriculum, and the current conditions.
It will be important to create curriculum and structure which can satisfy the goals you have for your student while also considering the current pandemic environment- which is unprecedented.
In traditional homeschooling, parents often take children out and about to learn- there is an emphasis on experiential learning and socialization within the world. In At-Home School during the COVID-19 Pandemic, teachers will need to be innovative and supported in order to create opportunities for students to engage in social, emotional and physical learning. In addition, they will have to be creative when developing lessons that tap into the experiential learning opportunities.
The key to the success of an at-home learning program under these conditions is the time prior to instruction which teachers can spend on sourcing resources for their students.
The following are some ideas which we've developed for educators in this regard:
- Inventory your student's current social interactions. Keep key relationships alive during at-home schooling through regular shared experiences, projects, and collaboration.
- Set up appointments to have your student socialize with other "at-home schoolers who can share similar experiences because of their shared conditions.
- Find out what local museums, small businesses, sports programs, chess or music programs are doing in the summer and fall. Begin to form alliances with them to enable contact with your student.
- Consult with a social worker who can support you with curriculum and tips for developing your child's emotional skills and understanding of concepts. (as part of Evolved's monthly support program, we have social workers and special educators on staff to provide consultations to at-home educators during the year)
- Consult with other educators who are also doing At-Home Schooling and share the responsibility of sourcing lessons - many times educators at schools will partner with each other to provide lessons within content areas of interest (if I like teaching Math, then I create those lessons vs. creating the history lessons) (as part of the Evolved's At-Home School Educator Support Program, we match educators with each other to form informal collectives - supporting each other in lesson planning and finding resources)
For more information about how Evolved Education can support you during At-Home Schooling this Summer or during the 2020-2021 school year, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our webpage which outlines our program.