As a parent, having my kids home and virtually learning can sometimes feel like a test. Three kids in three different schools leaves me with three different schedules. To say that it can all feel overwhelming is an understatement.
As you know, today’s classroom doesn’t just have one teacher. We are dealing with 8 teachers per child. This offers up 8 different chances to mess up, forget, and miss a deadline or a communication. While I completely understand the necessity of virtual learning in today’s age, I also acknowledge that I drop the ball as a parent more often than I’d like.
But the more we do the more we learn, right? I guess you can say that my husband and I have gotten into a groove of some sort. And while nothing is perfect, we wanted to offer up some advice for parents who have children struggling with their new learning environments.
Here are 5 ways for parents to streamline virtual learning at home for their children.
Set Up Desk Space In A Common Room
We found that when our children were locked in their rooms and getting through their work day, they were also video conferencing friends, watching TikToks, and sneaking music through Airpods. Listen, I’m not going to sit here and judge our youth. I was 15 once, too.
There is too much freedom behind a locked door for 8 hours a day. Let’s just be honest about that.
If you have a straight arrow for a child, then I am SO HAPPY for you. But I found that my littles were… cheating the system a bit and slacking when they weren’t being watched. Again, I am not going to sit here and blame them. This is a HARD ride to be on. Too much freedom for kids who are still trying to define who they want to be.
Instead, set up some desk space in the living room or dining room and allow them to work in front of you – as a family. This will avoid all temptation.
Get Up A Bit Earlier
It’s not ideal. It’s not fun. But if you need to knock some things off of your personal list so you can make sure that you are available to your children during school hours, then get up a bit earlier than usual. If you have children that need your attention, then do everything you can in order to give them that attention.
What can you do in the morning before your children wake?
- Put dinner in the crockpot
- Clean the house
- Enjoy some alone time
- Get a few hours of work in – whatever doesn’t’ require human interaction like conference calls.
The choice is yours.
Make Sure All Work Is Complete
It doesn’t matter if you have a 10th grader or a 3rd grader – odds are your children are having a hard time staying on stop of the work that is assigned to them.
There are parent portals that show you what work is missing. There are also student portals that you can access that will show you what is currently outstanding. Do you have to do it this every single day? It depends on your situation. You know how often you need to tune in.
Personally, I check in every few days to check for new test dates. Maybe that’s all you will need to do as well?
Teach Them To Check For Messages From Teachers
Some teachers like to email. Others like to use Google Classroom. There are even more than like to put notes on the board and leave it up to the kids to take their own notes. It’s important to teach your children that it is their responsibility to track this information and stay on top of it while virtually learning.
This at-home learning system is not perfect because it is not streamlined. That is really why the majority of kids are struggling.
One teacher offers up an ample amount of notes while the other wants her students to be completely independent. They have to switch hats every 40 minutes and during a time of complete chaos and uncertainty. It’s hard to manage for an adult – forget about a young child!
It’s a lot to consume during a time when they aren’t seeing friends or playing sports or simply losing themselves. Too much to carry all at once. That’s why it wouldn’t hurt to remind them every now and then to check every stream available to them and make sure they are receiving all useful information.
Maintain An Organized Environment
It’s important to show your children how to maintain an organized environment while participating in virtual learning. This is actually a life-long lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
If you see them working and keep noticing that they are always without their supplies, teach them to take a few moments to get prepared before class begins.
Do you need to buy some organizational bins, baskets, and folders? Maybe that will help with the process?
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