Posted on August 10, 2020
Sola Salon Studios
Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives, but beauty professionals have been particularly hit hard. In addition to the financial burden of salon closures, working parents are feeling a lot of pressure right now to balance work and home life, especially as we get closer to schools starting back in the fall. We’ve heard our community struggling with questions like, “Is it safe to send my child back to school in the middle of a pandemic? Is it possible to rearrange my schedule to accommodate distance learning? Am I willing to sacrifice the quality of my child’s education so I can continue to provide for my family?”
If your child’s school has switched to remote learning, you’ll likely have to overcome some new hurdles while you learn to juggle work and homeschooling. Most likely your school district will provide appropriate resources and lesson plans, but we understand that navigating the world of distance learning can be a daunting experience. So, we’ve put together a list of tips that might help:
1. Set and Keep a Schedule
Synchronous learning is online distance education that happens in real-time. If your child’s school district is implementing synchronous learning, your child will be required to interact with the teacher and other students at specific times each day. If your child is old enough to work independently, make sure to post the schedule where they can see it. If you have younger children, you’ll have to set them up initially. Once you establish a routine, the goal is to eventually be able to set your child up with a Zoom class and then focus on other things. Since you can’t be in the salon, you could use the time to post to your Instagram account, create marketing pieces, email clients or watch an online education video.
2. Create an Environment Conducive to Learning
Having a stable WiFi connection is extremely important if your child will be learning remotely. Set up a place in your home, preferably not in a high-traffic area, that becomes the designated “classroom.” Setting your child up at the kitchen table probably isn’t a good idea. Remember that smaller children can become easily distracted. Some parents have found that playing soft music in the background can help them focus. The idea is to find a quiet place where they can work with minimum noise and disruption.
3. Create a Daily Plan
It’s a good idea to go over your child (or children)’s schedule(s) the night before so they’re prepared first thing in the morning, especially if they have an early online class. Schedules may change weekly. Sometimes teachers have to change the time of a Zoom class due to scheduling conflicts. Post each updated schedule where you and your kid(s) can see it. Keep a list of passwords readily available. Most schools provide Chromebooks for each child because they’re inexpensive and Google Apps are easy to manage. You’ll need a password for their student ID, online learning portal and any other required programs.
4. Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources
Contact your school district to find out what help they can provide. This is critical if your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan that requires additional support and services.
5. Keep a List of Contact Info
Ask for the teacher’s email address and phone number and keep it on-hand in case you have questions about homework assignments, class times or anything else.
6. Create a Schedule and Block Your Work Calendar
Once you know when your child will require your help with online learning, you can work around that schedule and book clients in your salon when you’re not required to be at home.
7. Encourage Age-Appropriate Independence
Experts agree that children in lower grades (1-4) can complete their schoolwork in a few hours. Children this age are the ones most likely to need close supervision, while older students can work independently. Take this into consideration when planning your work day.
8. Provide a Routine
Set aside time for online learning, snack breaks, lunch and intervals of time away from the computer.
9. Don’t Aim for Perfection
Remember that no one is perfect. You will make mistakes. There will be times when nothing seems to go right. Some days will be better than others. Try to go with the flow and not be so hard on yourself when things fall apart. Remember, the teacher will also be adjusting to this new virtual reality and may be more likely to make exceptions for overdue assignments and granting extensions. The bottom line: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
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