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Unexpected school closures or extended breaks can make things challenging for parents—especially when juggling work and other commitments on top of children being home full time.

For many parents, taking over the role of teacher can be daunting in itself (especially when it happens unexpectedly). Add on top of it the challenge of keeping your child engaged while they’re not in the classroom, many parents are left wondering how to manage this new learn-from-home routine.

With the right planning and a bit of support (that’s why we’re here!), you can keep your child on track while they make the switch to learning from home.

How To Deal With Extended School Breaks

There are a few things to keep in mind while your child is away from school for an extended period of time.

Most of all, try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. These may be existing routines or new ones—the important thing is establishing a routine you and your child can stick to to create structure and organization out of a new situation.

    1. Create Daily & Weekly Plans

A plan will not only help you take some control during unexpected circumstances, it will also help create structure for both you and your child.

For younger children, these plans can include different activities (both mental and physical) to do during the day.

For older students, this plan should include any home assignments or virtual classes, and dedicated times for particular subjects.

Your plan can include:
– A daily schedule (include breaks, lunch, and free time!)
– Lessons plans for subjects to cover each day
– Meal plans to accommodate more meals at home for your child
– Fun mental and physical activities

Looking for more tips? Check out these resources

Helping Your Child With School Work At Home
Fun Learning Activities For Students To Do At Home

    1. Stick To A Routine

Children, especially young ones, thrive on routine and can feel lost or distressed without one.

Stick to your normal school day routine as much as possible to maintain normalcy in your child’s life:
– Get them up at the same time everyday
– Get them dressed and ready like they’re going to school
– Pack or prepare a lunch with your child
– Create “class hours” for your child to dedicate to different subjects everyday

    1. Prepare Your Childcare Provider

If you are working at the time of school closures, make sure you prepare your childcare provider with homework your child needs to complete or any other expectations you may have about what your child does during the day.

    1. Set Expectations With Your Child

Don’t let your child treat school days like a vacation where they sit in front of the TV or lay in bed all day. Set the expectation that your child will spend certain times of the day studying and completing school work.

The daily schedule you have created will help keep your child on track here. Setting the expectation of regular study hours during the day from the get-go can help avoid potentially frustrating arguments later.

    1. Prepare Lesson Plans

Knowing what your child should be learning at their grade level and preparing a rough daily lesson plan is key to keeping them up to speed in their school work.

For many parents, this is something you’ve never had to do before. To help, Scholars provides a daily email newsletter with lessons, activities, and other educational materials for each grade group. Sign up for the newsletter here!

    1. Prepare For Virtual Learning Expectations

During an unexpected school closure, some schools are set up for online learning or virtual classrooms. Find out if this is the case for your child’s school and make a note of the class schedule, which platform they’re using, and any technical expectations (like webcam and microphone)

Many teachers continue to make themselves available for teaching and additional support for their students. Find out how you and your child should be communicating with teachers for things like updates, course work, and assignments from home.

Resources To Help Learn From Home

Having a wealth of learning resources at your fingertips can help you find something to keep your child entertained.

Here are some of our favourite resources to help you keep your child engaged and learning during unexpected school closures.

    • Scholars free email resources

Sign up to receive free educational materials created and curated by our certified teachers to keep your child learning from home, emailed directly to you each day.

    • Our favourite YouTube channels for learning:

Crash Course Kids
Free School
National Geographic Kids
Peekaboo Kidz

    • Our favourite sites for at-home learning:

Curious World
PBS Kids
National Geographic Kids

Scholars Is Here To Help!

Having your kids home from school unexpectedly can be a new and uncertain time for many parents, but creating structure and sticking to a routine can keep everyone on track.

If you’re looking for some additional help, Scholars now offers flexible online tutoring for all subjects from kindergarten to grade 12 to help your child stay on top of school work while school is out.

Check out more Scholars resources:
Fun Learning Activities For Students To Do At Home
How Parents Can Help Kids With Homework (& Make It Fun, Too!)


Dr. Danielle, PhD


April 11, 2020