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Parents: Here are tips from a mother who home schools her children

A D.C. mother suggests stretching daily lessons to keep students engaged.

WASHINGTON — In a matter of weeks, parents have become teachers and we still have more than a month left in the academic school year for K-12 students. Most schools in our area have decided to continue with distance learning for the rest of the school year.

WUSA9 spoke with K12, an online education provider, and one parent who’s homeschooling her children on how to finish the year strong.

"My first advice is to breathe and relax," Elmater Pleasant said.

Pleasant home schools both of her children; Gabriel in the third grade and Joshua in the eighth. 

Both attend Friendship Public Charter School online. She’s not new to having her kids at home.

"Remember that the first reason that we're doing any of this is because of a love for our children," Pleasant said.

Pleasant remembers the transition from brick-and-mortar schools and has a few tips for parents trying to survive the rest of the academic year.

"Allow yourself to stretch the schedule out. You also don't want to start bad habits in the middle of a pandemic," Pleasant said.

That's especially when it comes to how much TV your kids are watching.

"If your television did not come on before six o'clock on a regular schedule, don't turn your TV on before six o'clock," Pleasant said.

Kevin Chavous, is the President of Academics, Policy, and Schools at K12 Incorporated. They’re the largest online education provider in the K12 space in the country.

He said it’s also important to make sure you cater the learning experience for your kids ages.

"For younger kids, elementary school age, it’s more time with actual books, and lesson plans; things that you can visualize, they can visually see and touch, less time with the computer. But when you're talking about high-school-aged children, the reverse is true," Chavous said.

Both Pleasant and Chavous stress the importance of a structured schedule.

"I think it's really important to have a firm, disciplined work schedule for the day. I think the more haphazard the schedule is, the learning schedule is, the less likely kids are going to learn," Chavous said.

Pleasant also said to remember while cooking at home can be fun, make sure you have some greens in your diet.

"Be careful of the sugar intake, because when your child is bouncing off the wall, and you can't figure out what's going on, you might want to look and think about the amount of sugar that they've had compared to what they would have had while that brick and mortar," Pleasant said.

One last tip Pleasant had is to applaud yourself and your kids when you get it right. Positive reinforcement is good for us all.

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