However parents are feeling about it, the reality is that many school districts are facing the start of the school year with online learning as the only option. Even if your child’s district is planning to open up, there’s every chance they’ll need to swap to remote learning should the worst come to pass. With that in mind, we’re pulling together some tips to help in the seemingly never-ending sea of frustration with online learning.
Set Up (and Post) a Schedule
Even if there’s no official schedule from the school with specific video classes set up, make a schedule. One of the major benefits of an education system is in learning to be comfortable sticking to a set schedule. Kids may not love it, but it’s generally good for them.
Raise the Bar
We often joke about what kids are and aren’t willing to do at home, but teachers are able to set up environments with high expectations. Your child may not line up for lunch at home, but they’re perfectly capable of that type of orderly behavior in other settings.
Create a Classroom
There are dozens of tips for adults working from home that center around creating a separate work environment. Don’t bring your laptop out of your workspace. Don’t do work in your PJs. If you’re able to, see if you can apply the same principles to your child’s school day.
Get Creative with Classrooms
Is there a place in your home that your child doesn’t usually spend much time? The basement or even a shed may be an example. Consider setting up a mini classroom there. They may be able to separate their home life and school life a little better.
Get Ready to Go with the Flow
Right now, nothing is set in stone. While that’s frustrating, it’s also by design. School districts are trying to respond in real time to the pandemic in your area and teachers are learning an entirely new way to teach.
Talk with the Teachers
Your child’s teacher will be a good resource on the most important topics for your child to focus on. They know the research-backed milestones that are important for their age, and they know what the expectations are for a child entering the next grade.
Head Off Technical Problems
Does your home have spotty wi-fi in some places? Will multiple people need to be on video conferences at one time? Try to get ahead of the technical issues before they crop up. You should also get all the logins for any programs or computers in one place.
Distractions often arise when a person gets up from their work “just to grab something.” This is true for kids and adults alike. Set up your child’s work space with water, healthy snacks and anything they regularly get up to grab.
Write Down Classroom Rules
Some teachers like to plan out class rules together at the start. Others simply have them posted in the classroom. Either way, try to establish a set of rules and place them up in the room.
Look at It as a Do-Over
Have you been struggling with helping your child learn remotely? You’re far from alone. Look at this new year as a fresh opportunity to set some ground rules, dot your I’s, cross your T’s and try again.