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  • Sharon Widmayer

Must have for parenting during a pandemic - a timer!

Updated: Jul 20

When parents ask us, what's number one on our list of at home learning supplies, they are usually thinking a tablet, a big white board, or maybe even paper. But, assuming your child already has a school-issued laptop and Internet, your number one need is a timer.


Here's what you can do with your timer:


  1. Mommy will be on a phone call for this many minutes. You may not interrupt her until the timer goes off.

  2. Yes, I know you don't want to do these twenty questions. Can you work for just ten minutes? Don't worry about completing all of them.

  3. (After ten minutes) Look how awesome you are!! I bet you can do more in the next ten minutes!

  4. OK, I can see this is frustrating you. Go take a break/ run in the backyard/ call Grandpa/ play a video game until the timer goes off.

  5. In this many minutes, you will need to be sitting at your computer and logging into your assignment.

  6. Let's work on this for so many minutes and then we'll take a break to have a snack.

  7. Read/ write in your journal for this many minutes (Increase by 30 seconds each day. At the end of every couple weeks, you can share with your child how much more reading/ writing stamina they have).

  8. You need to try for two minutes before you ask me for help.

  9. OK, for the next three minutes, I want you to write down what questions you have and which particular questions/ problems you need help with so I can help you/ we can ask your teacher.

  10. Yay! You worked really hard on this assignment for the whole time we agree upon. I am really proud of you for working hard! We can talk to your teacher about how long it's taking and see what can be done.

The key here is you are putting the focus on the timer, and taking the focus away from you. Best are timers that the students can see count down or some visual representations of time.

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