Tips from parent leaders: Making learning a fun activity at home


Parents and children all around the country are adjusting to a new reality: learning at home!

Public schools in Duval County have quickly adapted using existing tools to keep learning happening as much as possible.

Even though many parents and children are facing many challenges to adapt to this gigantic change, several of them have found ways to make it easier.

Here are some recommendations from the recent graduates of Parents Who Lead, a nationally renowned parent leadership program JPEF is proud to support in partnership with Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Library and the Kids Hope Alliance.

Tips for learners of all ages
  • Download the app version of Teams. It runs more smoothly than the web-based version.

  • Choose a regular place to work each day.

  • Follow up on assignments because the system can be slow with so many users online at once.

For elementary school children

Younger children need more guidance and structure to their learning, and they also need lots of breaks for free play. Here are some tips especially for them.

  • Partner with your child to identify what the rhythm of their day is at school, then support them in creating a similar structure for home. You might make a visual reminder of this through a schedule they can reference.

  • Choose a time of day for their work period that aligns with your family's rhythms.

  • Greet the day together by creating a routine for the morning: getting up, having breakfast together, exercise or meditation, etc. This practice can help bring focus and intentionality to the work ahead.

  • Empower them to do for themselves the same things they might at school: gather their materials, prepare a snack, complete a work cycle, clean up at the end of their work period. Try not to do everything for them.

  • Create a homework journal of some kind. This can help kids remember what they learned and reflect on their challenges and successes.

  • Allow lots of time for free play -- younger kids need movement!

  • To help reinforce reading time, ask your children to make plays to share with the family based on books they’ve read.

  • If your child is getting restless or bored, encourage her or him to find new ways to interact with things they already have, create new games in the back yard or front porch, or teach your child how to sew.


For teenagers

Teenagers are much more able to work independently, but their challenges are often about their mental health: missing their friends, missing sports or clubs, or just feeling cooped up like the rest of us. Here are some ideas to help teenagers engage with learning by processing what they’re experiencing.

  • If you like to write, start a blog! Take these experiences and write about them. They can submit it to Forbes and Huffington Post and share with their friends on social media.

  • Create an online business, such as t-shirt design and printing.

  • Create a YouTube channel. They can even do a Channel with their friends with screen share capabilities. Or a podcast!

  • Ask them to problem-solve around one of the challenges they’re experiencing. For example, many seniors are depressed because they feel their last year of school has been taken away. So you could ask them to brainstorm a solution to this problem.

  • As far as students being organized, I created an Assignment Board for my students. I think someone posted it in this group. I did a word document version so they could use it for all of their classes. I added an extra column for comments.

Thanks to Parents Who Lead graduates Jillian Gishler, Nina Frank, Shanna Carter and Latoya Taylor-White for these suggestions!






of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.