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We know it’s challenging to raise children, manage a household, and get work done—-and it’s particularly true when schools are closed.
We know these are anxious times for everyone, and health and safety is priority number one. Please know that we’re here to help you keep your children learning in the event of school closures. Below are the top questions we’ve received recently. Got more questions? You can share them with us in the Support Community or contact our Support team.
- How might I structure learning time for my child during school closures?
Keep things simple and set a goal of 2-3 hours of learning per day. Start with your child reading an hour a day and doing math practice an hour a day (and this time doesn’t have to be all at once). If your children have the capacity to add in science and social studies—that’s great.
Many students are most fresh in the morning, so that’s the best time for them to tackle reading and math. Build in breaks for playtime and physical exercise.
- How do I figure out what content to cover (if there is no guidance from my school)?
Look at your child’s homework and textbooks and ask them to show you what topics they are studying in their class.
Talk to your child and get a sense of how well she knows the material covered so far. You can decide whether this is a good time to review existing material, or cover new lessons. On Khan Academy, your child can select a lesson to start working on and recommendations for the next lessons will automatically appear.
For high school students who are enrolled in AP classes and/or are studying for their SATs, Khan Academy offers the most popular AP courses and Official SAT prep.
- What if I can’t be available to tutor with my child?
When children use Khan Academy to practice, they will get immediate feedback. If students provide a wrong answer, there will be hints, example problems worked out step-by-step, and links to relevant instructional videos.
Today, there’s a wealth of online learning resources. Check out Common Sense Media’s list of recommended educational websites.
If you have younger children and there’s just one thing you can do, then be sure to read with your child for 15-30 minutes before bedtime.
- How can I help my child learn when I don't know the subject matter?
It’s okay to not know the subject. This is a great time to be a role model for being curious and how to learn. You might say, “I don’t know all the answers myself, let’s find out the ways to learn this material.” In Khan Academy, you can use our search bar to type in the specific topic you’re seeking to learn, e.g. “congruent angles”.
If you or your child are struggling a bit, remember that’s natural! Learning is a process of “productive struggle.”
- How do I manage children learning at home while I’m working at home?
Set aside designated times when you know you’ll have dedicated 1x1 time with your child. This can be time to read together, breaks during the day, and a clear lunchtime. Knowing you have designated “together time” can help you keep boundaries at other times (if possible).
But they’re kids, right? As parents ourselves, we know that having kids means getting interrupted. Be explicit on the best way to be interrupted. Ideas can be as simple as requesting a knock on the door, or prearranged signals like “hold my hand and count to twenty when I’m on the phone”.
Have we mentioned that we’re fans of checklists? Older children can be more self-directed with checklists. When a child comes to you with “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do,” redirect them to the list so they can take charge of their time.
Speaking as parents again, it’s predictable that tensions will arise. It’s easy to snap and lose your cool. We’ve all done it. In these times, you can think of this as another teaching moment: role-modeling how to apologize. One suggestion: “Hey, I’m sorry that I yelled. I was feeling stressed, and I realized I should have gone for a quick walk instead. Can we both hit the reset button?”
Lastly, be kind to yourself. There’s no way to be a perfect parent, and there are a thousand ways to be a good parent.
- How else might we help?
We’re working hard to understand the most pressing issues facing parents and children to keep learning going during school closures. Please tell us what questions are on your mind here. Check back with us in the coming days and weeks as we are updating our resources for you.
The Khan Academy Team