Originally published by WIS-TV Columbia – March 20, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Parents, are you pulling your hair out yet trying to teach the kids from home? We thought so.
We brought in the expert on virtual schooling and her first piece of advice is to be patient and give yourself some grace.
Easier said than done, though, right? For many of you, your kids associate home with just that… home! It’s their safe space to rest, be creative, and just let it all go. But there are ways to make it a great learning environment while they’re temporarily home.
You may have been hearing the phrase, “create structure,” over and over. But the structure, Julie Phillips advised, should be fluid. If your kid struggles with math, for instance, try to hit that first and save their favorite subject for the end of the day.
“Being at home is very different. Maybe try something,” said Phillips, who teaches K-2 at South Carolina Virtual Charter School. “If you know your student struggles in math, see if doing math in the morning is a little bit easier than just before your student is already done with school for the day. So if your student is strong in reading, maybe leave reading until the end of the day. That’s gonna be something they’re going to look forward to.”
Phillips also said to take advantage of the fact that they’re home. Play around with different lesson plans and settings.
“Don’t be afraid to go outside. You’re doing e-learning! Take your materials outside and get some fresh air,” Phillips said. “Enjoy this wonderful weather that we’re having right now. Don’t be afraid to hop around a little bit. We tell our virtual students that as well. You don’t have to sit at a table or a desk. Be willing to try school in different places. In the backyard, outside, wherever it might be.”
Cameron Runyan is the chief executive officer of the Charter Institute at Erskine. He talked at length about not only the incredible gift virtual possibilities will be for kids during this time of temporary school closure, but also year-round with their three fully virtual charter schools.
“Without these major disruptions, you see a huge benefit for children who may be excellent at a particular sport or have some sort of skill that they have to travel around the country to compete,” said Runyan. “You may have children who are subject to bullying in a traditional environment, and through the virtual environment they can get a very effective education without the negative issues that they may have had going on in their school.”
The Charter Institute at Erskine’s media spokesperson said they are working on coming up with a webinar to be able to share some of Julie’s expertise with other teachers across the state.
To learn more about South Carolina Virtual Charter School, visit https://scvcs.k12.com/.