When Schools abruptly closed earlier this year, many parents were left spinning their wheels, figuring out how to make distance learning work. I was one of those parents. With so little time to prepare, we just used what we had at home and struggled through the rest. By the end of the school year, we learned exactly what we needed to succeed at Virtual Learning. Below are four of the tips that we found most helpful.
1.CREATE A DEDICATED LEARNING SPACE:
Creating a dedicated learning area will help your child to establish a routine and feel ready to learn. Since most students will be online for 7-8 hours a day, I recommend finding a space in your home separate from your child’s bedroom. If possible, set up a work area for yourself in the same room as your child so that you can monitor and support them.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a dedicated “office space” We just cleared a wall in our dining room and set up their virtual learning area. Decorate the space, and make it bright and visually pleasing; this will help get your child excited to learn. I took my kids to Target and let them choose a few items from the Dollar Spot so that they felt like they were part of the process, and they loved it. If you don’t have Target in your area or the Dollar Spot is already sold out, you can check out Amazon for affordable decorative options.
This year you will need to adjust your back to the shopping list to align with Distance Learning. You probably won’t need as much paper, crayons, pens, and pencils. Instead, you will need supplies that will help you and your student be more comfortable and productive at home.
Below is a list of supplies to help your child have a strong start this school year.
1.Desk: Since so many families are learning at home this semester, finding an affordable desk is hard. I linked a few affordable space-friendly desks here.
2.Earphones: With everyone working in close proximity, earphones have been a lifesaver.
3. Comfortable Chair: We started off the using our dining room chairs but with the kids spending so much time sitting down, we decided it would be best to get them real office chairs so that they could be more comfortable.
As you get the school year started you will be able to better gauge your student’s unique needs.
3. SYSTEMS AND ORGANIZATION
The first week of school was chaotic! I have three kids with three different schedules. We found the most confusing was the kid’s Zoom schedules, knowing when to be on a Zoom Calls and when to work independently. To simplify things for all of us, I created the kids a Digital color coded copy of their schedules with the links to there Google Classrooms and Zooms. It took about a week for the kids to get the hang of it. Now they have finally stopped asking what class they are supposed to be in and when.
I recommend making sure that you have a physical copy of your student’s schedule and a digital copy, with the teacher’s classroom links. Also, have handy who to contact when your systems are malfunctioning-because they will!
This year will be different than any year that we have seen before. Most of us will be homeschooling/virtual Learning with our kids for the first time while simultaneously working. It won’t be easy, but you will get through it. Connect with the people around you, get, and give help when you can, and give yourself grace because you will be doing the best that you can!
Please share in the comments about how Virtual Learning has been going for you and your family.