I’m sure many of the parents out there didn’t expect to start homeschooling their child overnight. Well during these times this happened to a lot of people. Even though we aren’t taking a full on homeschooling approach, virtual learning is a lot different than getting your kids up and out the door to the bus every morning.
Since there are so many that are still under virtual learning and it seems like it will never end it can make everyone in the family feel a little trapped in the house. You have to remember this is different for your child too. They aren’t getting to see their friends, move around the classroom, have daily interactions, or even get the big kid play they get during recess. So even if you are feeling like you can’t get to the store in between your child’s zoom calls, or make it outside for some fresh air because you are battling math with your child there are some things you can do that may help your child and you get through this virtual learning time.
Virtual Learning Coping Strategies:
Set a schedule. This may seem extremely obvious. Studies show you tend to be more productive if you have a schedule you follow daily. This may look like you get up at the same time every day, get dressed, and eat breakfast all before the first zoom call or virtual class your child has to sign into. This can help your child with the normalcy of a schedule that they would end up having to have when they went to school. Once you make a schedule make sure everyone is in agreement in it and knows that the schedule is. It can be helpful for younger children to have them help you write it out and post it somewhere so everyone can see. Some schools are coming out with daily schedules of when class times are or when assignments are due, help your child become organized so they can complete all daily tasks that are necessary. Don’t forget, this is your child’s schooling. You are the parent, but you don’t have to be the task master. Figure out what is the best way to encourage your child so they keep on track.
Make a space for learning. Again make sure you know how best your child learns. Isolation in their room may be hard to check on them and keep them best on task, but having them in a center part of the house may lead to too many distractions. Having a designated space for learning can help your kids focus when needed. Just as if they were going to school. Though your child is home, and they don’t have to get out of pajama pants it is still school and learning is important. It can feel like an extended summer vacation, but it is good to let your child know grades and learning are still important.
With screens becoming so present in daily learning it may be a good idea to limit screen time during the school day hours. This can also help your kids stay focused on completing school work before they hop on some video games. It is also important to get some energy out during the day. Make time for some recess, whether this is going outside and running around, getting out to a park, or doing Just Dance at home. It’s good for kids to have a daily dose of exercise and being cooped up inside can be hard on everyone. Fresh air can do wonders.
Even though we are so separate and kept apart these days try and find ways to connect with your child’s friends. Set up facetime calls where they can interact with children their own age. If you feel comfortable, take them to a park, or sign them up for a sport that is outside. Kids still need kids no matter how much attention adults give them. Not every child will thrive from virtual learning so just keep calm and be the encouragement your child needs. Your child has teachers, make sure you utilize their office hours or email them if you need help. It is no fun for anyone when a parent and child are hollering at each other when trying to figure out math. Help when you can but if you feel frustrations rising reach out to your child’s teacher, they are there to help. It is ok to just be the parent, you don’t have to be the teacher too even though sometimes it feels like you do.
Just as it is important for your child to reach out and stay connected to friends it is for you as well. This time is overwhelming and different, so reach out to other parents who are in your same situation. They may have some advice or at the least some funny stories of how rough their week has been. This is all new for everyone involved, teachers included. So don’t forget to be flexible and breathe when it all seems like too much. Don’t be afraid either to give your kids time to themselves to play how they want and to get away from you too. It is ok for everyone to need a break from each other. Remember everyone is going through their own ups and downs with virtual learning.
Even though we aren’t taking a full on homeschooling approach, virtual learning is a lot different than getting your kids up and out the door to the bus every morning.
It’s good for kids to have a daily dose of exercise and being cooped up inside can be hard on everyone.
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