Parent Strategies for Home School

With the closing of schools in the face of COVID-19 many parents across the United States have found themselves in a new and unexpected role- homeschooling their children.

While this role may give parents a new appreciation for the job of teachers—you are not a teacher and you did not make the choice to homeschool your children.

Take a deep breath with this Apple App

Keeping that in mind, some strategies and resources to manage homeschooling are outlined below. Remember, this is a learning process: be open, be flexible, and make adjustments along the way.

A talk about scheduling: There are beautiful color coded schedules popping up all over social media. If themed days (think unicorns and rainbows) with coordinating meals is your thing, go for it.

But for most, a simple and flexible schedule with lots of built in breaks will work best.

Scheduling 101

  • Personalize your priorities.
    • There is no one right way to do this- Your kids want to stay in pajamas all day and that doesn’t leave you feeling like the world has come to an end- go for it (pro tip: make sure they don’t forget to brush their teeth)
    • But do stick to a consistent sleep/wake schedule
  • Use Visual Schedules
    • Involve your kids in creating the schedule (Boom! First activity of the day planned)
    • Roughly write a schedule of what is going to happen and the order in which activities will happen
      • For younger kids, pictures depicting activities may be helpful
    • Leave off specific times
  • Allow children to check off each activity as its completed to create a sense of accomplishment
  • Schedule in lots of movement breaks
  • Alternate easier and more challenging activities
  • Use first this/then this to maintain motivation:
    • E.g., First complete a page of math then play outside
  • Build chore time into the schedule
  • Schedule in down time and independent activity
  • Leave room for spontaneity (if that’s your thing)
  • Create some, but not too many, blanket rules (e.g., no screen time before 3pm) and stick to them.

Filling the schedule:

Although many schools are providing opportunities for distance learning, these activities typically do not fill a complete school day. There are numerous online and app based resources (some shared below). 

  • This is probably not the time to teach your first grader advanced calculus
  • Now is a good time to practice and reinforce skills
  • Now is a good time to encourage kids to explore topics or areas that interest them without the pressure of grades and tests
  • Develop a plan together
    • Involve children in the planning
    • Have a discussion with children about their interests and goals during this time
    • Constant stream of shared resources can be great, but overwhelming
    • Limit flow by focusing only on those resources that match your child’s goals
  • Identify a balance of activities that require adult supervision and can be completed independently
  • Schedule in safe social interaction with family and friends
    • Zoom; Facetime; Whatsapp video

Links and Resources

Academic Specific:

Online Cirriculum

Math and Reading Activities

Coding Activities

Foreign Language


Online Educational Fun:

Find A Physician

Select Find a Physician Search Option

You will be redirected to
Weill Cornell Medicine Patient Care

Access Center

For hospital services, including inpatient admission, contact NewYork-Presbyterian Access:
(888) 694-5700