Chances are, if you have chosen to go the virtual learning route for the Fall 2020 school year, you’ve thoughtfully planned it out, and possibly even stocked up on some adult beverages to help ensure your sanity is in tack at the end of each school day. Both you and your child’s teacher wants this experience in learning to be successful!
Tips to make Virtual Learning Successful
- Have a (flexible) schedule: Children thrive on structure and routine. Consider which subject areas your child likes best. Maybe they want to do the harder subject first, or maybe their favorite subject first. Allow for breaks and flexibility within the schedule. At some point a problem is certain to come up, it’s ok to venture off track. Things don’t have to be followed by the minute, however, kids need to know there are expectations for the day and purpose in what they are doing.
- Be prepared: Your kids are going to need school supplies despite the term “virtual learning.” Have a designated work spot in the house with materials they will need in order to be successful; paper, pencil, charger/outlet for devices. Make sure devices are charged and ready to go, the internet is accessible, and you are familiar with the online platforms students are required to use.
- Meet the teacher: Most schools are still having some form of “Greet the Teacher” night. Students who are learning virtually are still a part of a classroom community and assigned a teacher. Having a positive, open line of communication with your child’s teacher is still a thing, virtual or not. An email “meeting the teacher” is a great way to start that show support and use as a resource during the unknown.
- Know your student: This might seem obvious, but often children are different at school than they are at home. They are merging two, once separate, environments into one. School and home are now one and the same. Some kids work better with dim lights, background noise, and even down to how they sit/stand. As a teacher, I’ve always allowed my students to work in a way that is most productive for them. Talk to them about what they need/want from you. Allow your child the flexibility of learning their way.
- Quality over quantity: Most districts offer a self-paced curriculum. I would be careful to not allow your student to get too far into their work if it is just mediocre. This is a great time for students to take pride and ownership in their work, reinforce and praise quality work.
- Be patient: Be patient with your child, the teacher, and yourself. WE ARE ALL LEARNING. Kudos to you for taking on the heavy load of in-home, virtual learning. Everyone has students’ best interests in mind, but here we are in the midst of a pandemic where normalcy seems to be a thing of the past. We are all doing the best we can.