As we all navigate a new way of living due to Covid-19, virtual learning for our children has been especially difficult for many. Having completed my own education online I can totally understand the frustrations and feelings of being overwhelmed that many parents have shared. I believe if we work together and encourage one another we can and will get through this. Below are just a few tips to help make your child’s, and in essence YOUR, virtual school experience better.
1. Breakfast is important. Make sure your child wakes up with enough time to have breakfast and take care of their hygiene needs before school starts. We treat virtual school like real school and that means when it’s time to log on my teenage son is fully dressed, has eaten, and is ready to start his school day.
2. Be prepared. Set up a designated area where your child can “do school” with all of the necessary supplies at hand. That may be the kitchen table or a desk in the home that’s just for them. Having to go on a wild goose chase for pencils or paper is stressful and not a good start to your child’s learning day. Set up this area so that it’s organized and efficient.
3. Independence is the key. At virtual school, we are given the unique privilege of hearing our children’s teachers teach and engage with them. It’s only natural that we want to chip in with our two cents. Give your child the same independence that you would as if they were attending regular school. In their brick and mortar school would you sit next to them for every class? No, you wouldn’t, but I sure found myself sitting next to my son during his Spanish class and immediately checked myself. I am not the student – he is. We must trust our children and offer support from a loving distance.
4. Have a backup. If possible have a backup phone, laptop, or tablet just in case there are issues. It certainly came in handy when my computer was loading extremely slowly and my son was expected in a live session. It’s also a good idea to download the apps your child is using for school on another device for this very reason. In our case, my son’s school apps are on his personal laptop, tablet and both of our cell phones that way I feel secure if anything happens to one of our devices we have a backup.
5. Take Frequent Breaks. After my teen has sat at the computer for two live sessions back to back, he is allowed free time to unwind, eat a snack, or do something in his room for a while. Staring at a computer for eight hours a day isn’t healthy. Our children are not little worker robots that belong in front of a screen for long consecutive hours. Encourage your child to take breaks, go for a walk or do some indoor exercises.
6. Do the best YOU can. Look, this is unprecedented territory. No one has been here before. We’re ALL just doing the best we can. There’s no judgment as we navigate the unfamiliar and try to make sense of this new norm. There’s only so much we can do and when I start to feel overwhelmed I sometimes transfer those emotions to him. I’ve learned to remain calm and reassure him every day to do HIS best and I’ll do MY best.
What are some virtual school tips you have to share with us?
Kirstie Myvett is a Nola mom and author of the soon to be released children’s book, “PRALINE LADY.” You can learn more about her on her Instagram page, kirstiemyauthor, or kirstiemy2 on twitter.