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Virtual learning is hard! Not only are my kids struggling, but I’m struggling as well. Trying to get them into the mode of schoolwork where there are mass amounts of distractions is definitely a battle. Add to that, a toddler who doesn’t understand when his big brothers need to focus and be ‘in school’.
I’ve been slowly learning ways to get my kids a little more comfortable with this new normal and would love to share with you some of the things that have been working for us. I hope some of these tips can help you out as well!
Keep up with a routine –
You guys, I feel this one is so important! When virtual learning first started for us, my kids acted as if they were on summer vacation. They begged to stay up later and assumed they wouldn’t have to wake up early. I treat each day as if it was a normal school day because… it is! My kids go to bed at their normal bedtime (for us that’s 8:30 pm) and wake up at 6:45 am to start their morning routine.
They wake up, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and change into their clothes. They don’t have to put on socks and shoes, but getting them ready for the day already puts it into their mind that the day isn’t for lounging.
Make lunch ahead of time –
Like you would when your kids went to school, prepare them lunch in the morning and put it into the fridge for later. Keep them on a lunch block for an hour where they grab their lunch from the fridge and can go play outside afterward. Try to avoid letting them watch TV or play video games. They wouldn’t be able to do that at school, so why let them do it when they’re doing school at home? Making lunch earlier in the day can also help your sanity as it’s out of the way and you, too, can relax while they’re on a lunch break!
Give them a space of their own to work –
I know this can be a tricky one since the living space may not make that possible. No matter where your child works, make sure it isn’t on their bed. Give them a hard surface to work from like the dining table or another table/desk that’s accessible. Believe it or not, it’ll help your kid to stay focused and be a lot easier on their back.
Have a pencil box full of supplies –
I don’t care how old your child is, keeping supplies somewhere organized and together can help! I know with virtual learning, a lot is done on the computer, but many teachers are having kids do the work on notebooks and then plugging in the answers.
Invest in some headphones –
They don’t have to be expensive at all, but having a decent set of headphones can help keep the outside noise reduced and help your child to focus more on the lessons and meetings they’re having with their teacher.
Ask them questions during dinner –
Just as you would after school, ask them questions about how their day went. Questions like:
- What was your favorite assignment?
- Which assignment was the hardest? (this can help you so you know what your child may be struggling with)
- Do you have any tests coming up this week?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Communicate with their teachers –
Did you know a lot of teachers are saying they haven’t heard from many of the kids’ parents? Most teachers have set up a place to communicate with parents (like Bloomz). Be sure to utilize it or be in touch via email. They are there to help navigate us during this and can really pinpoint what your kid’s strengths are and where they may need a little help!
Be patient with them –
This is something new we are all trying to learn. Kids are struggling just as we are, if not more! I know it can be hard, but if you find yourself getting stressed, it’s ok to walk away and take a deep breath before re-entering the room to help. You can also try making one of these bottles at home to help both you and your child relax and de-stress.