How to Survive Distance Learning at Home with Your Keiki

You may not have signed up for this, yet here you are, homeschooling your kids while we’re trying to control the spread of COVID-19. Suddenly our keiki are all learning from home for an indefinite amount of time. It can be challenging, but there are many ways to make this a better experience for both students and parents:


  • Set a schedule. Some teachers will send a schedule, others will send learning assignments that need to be completed. Having a schedule that is similar every day will help kids with learning as well as reduce students’ anxiety since they know what is expected in the day. Bottom line, if no schedule was sent, make one. You and your child will thank you!


  • Take breaks to move. For kids that are on digital platforms, it is easy to sit in one position for a long period of time. The plus side to being at home is that the students can get up, walk around, stretch and move regularly throughout their “school” day.  At a minimum, they should follow the 20/20/20 rule:  look away from the screen every 20 minutes, look 20 feet (or as far as they can) away for 20 seconds. If possible, encourage them to also get moving/walking around for a few minutes every 20 to 30 minutes.


  • Schedule “physical education” and “recess.” Our kids should be doing at least 60 minutes of something active throughout the day. These can be shorter segments that add up to at least 60 minutes. There are a lot of resources for indoor activity, but getting outside would be the best as sunshine is a great source of vitamin D. It’s also a great time to build physical literacy in our kids. Just maintain at least six feet of physical distance from anyone not in your household; masks are also highly encouraged.


  • Eat regular meals. Now is the time that kids have access to food whenever they want and that can lead to snacking all day and not eating balanced meals. Prep and cook meals together. Have older kids plan meals. If supporting local restaurants, have them help with ordering and they can use their math skills to see how much it will cost!  Eating well will help with their learning.


  • Don’t forget the right brain. Many musicians and artists are offering classes online.  Take advantage of this time to have your kids try something new if they don’t currently have music and art in their class schedule. If they have classes remotely, invite them to put on a performance at the end of each week or to have an “exhibit” of their artwork every week or two.


  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is important for so many things, such as learning and keeping one’s immune system healthy. Keep a sleep schedule even if it’s slightly shifted from the regular school year. Younger kids should be getting 9 to 11 hours of sleep, and teenagers should sleep 8 to 10 hours. 


  • Finally, take advantage of this time. Everyone is stressed and worried. The silver lining is that we have time to connect with our ohana.  We all need to feel connected, especially right now.


This homeschooling experience won’t last forever and will, hopefully, be a fond memory for your family if you follow these helpful tips.

Published on: April 9, 2020