2020 is a year different from the rest. Our lives have been affected in many ways, and we’ve had to adapt. While a big part of us had to transition from a regular office setting to home office, children and teens have been put in the same situation. With many schools closing their doors to give virtual learning a chance (and keeping everyone safe!), we need to do everything we can to get the most out of online schooling.
Every house’s situation is different, so what might work for one family, might not work for you. There is no magic trick to manage your child’s online schooling, and it will vary depending on several things, like your child’s age and how long will they be learning online.
Whatever your situation is, here are 15 tips for working parents with kids in virtual learning that will make your day-to-day life easier:
15 Tips to make the most out of online schooling
- Keep a routine. Changes can be stressful for kids, so be sure to keep a daily structure during this time. Work together to create a schedule that will make it simple for them to focus on their classes and chores, and also be sure to include breaks to relax, enjoy their day, and spend quality time together. You can hang their schedule on the refrigerator or somewhere they can see it every morning.
- Set regular bedtimes and wake-ups. NYU Langone Health suggests having your child or teen follow their usual school day/weekend day sleep schedule. This is especially important because it can be hard to get back on the same sleeping schedule once school goes back to normal.
- Be prepared. You can’t be prepared for every little interruption that may happen, but there are so many things that you can plan for. We recommend having a dedicated learning space with all the supplies your kid will need, making sure your internet can handle enough people online at the same time, check in on your child during breaks, and most importantly, do a practice run before the first day of classes.
- Take your child (virtually) to work. If you are working from home, it’d be a good idea to show your kids what a day in your life looks like. Encourage them to ask questions and get close to your profession. It may even motivate them to follow the same career path!
- Be flexible. Be sure to take some time each day after work to support your child with their assignments or practice that math lesson that was too difficult. When you find yourself at the office (home or not), encourage your child to work on the easy subjects and wait for your assistance on the more difficult ones.
- Show interest in their day. Ask your children what they did and let them speak as much as they want to. Socializing is an important part of a child’s development, and asking them what was the most interesting thing they learned today or asking them to show you what they did in class will help them a lot.
- Provide positive feedback. Many children miss receiving reinforcement and reassurance from teachers. According to an article published by USAToday, building a reward system can help maintain motivation. After kids complete a task, consider giving them a star or sticker, or you can even allow extra playtime with a toy or give them a sweet treat.
- Use available online resources. Many schools allow students to work one-on-one with their teachers to provide extra assistance and clear up their doubts. Check if there are school discussion boards or any after-school online activities that would help your child continue their learning.
- Reduce distractions. Social media and non-class related web surfing may harm your children’s performance, especially when no one is supervising them like in a regular school setting. Since you will be working on your own too, it might be a good idea to limit the use of these devices until schoolwork is done – except, obviously, when required.
- Take breaks. Kids, especially smaller ones, may have a hard time sitting through an entire online class. Kids usually get breaks in-between classes, so it’s normal to have these breaks with online schools and homeschooling. According to USAToday, “A young child may need a quick break after staying on a task for five to 25 minutes,” said Linda Carling, an associate research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education.
- Lead by example. Children are very observing, and working from home is the perfect situation to teach them valuable lessons. Work ethics like communication, being in time, accountability, responsibility, and initiative can all be taught at this moment.
- Schedule a creative activity, game, or experiment. Kids learn best through play! Being stuck at home doesn’t have to be boring if you have different activities that will keep the learning going even after classes. Check out these learning activity ideas that are educational and fun!
- Connect to your children. According to psychologists, we should “appreciate this time to connect to your children. It’s valuable family time that’s often lost in our too often hectic lives.” (Source: News4Jax)
- Have dinner together. Having dinner together as a family and discussing each other’s day helps maintain a feeling of normality and mostly, keep a (so-needed) schedule.
- Take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of your own health and wellness, your kid’s education and wellbeing will suffer as well. Your kids have well-prepared teachers and systems, so don’t try to throw yourself completely into your child’s school routine.
We are all in this together! Whatever your kid’s distance education looks like, I’m sure you will be just fine. Look around our website, we have so many resources for online schooling, distance learning, and even a homeschool schedule!
Need more online learning resources?
- Here are over 100 educational tools for kids.
- Check out these free scholastic online books and lessons to complete your online schooling.
- These whiteboard cleaning hacks will make learning so much easier!
- Make learning math fun with cool math games hacked, both online and free.
- For the littlest ones (and the bigger ones too!), we have 15 overnight potty training tips!
- Visit the pyramids in Egypt and other cool places with this massive list of free virtual field trips.
- Check out these google classroom for parents tips and video guides!
- You’ll want to read the best advice from parents to new moms.
- This picky eaters blog post will tell you 6 different ways parents create picky eaters.
- Learn fun and engaging preschool homeschool activities for your little ones.
- Here are real tips for potty training activities for toddlers.
- Are your kids sharing rooms? No problem!
- Traveling doesn’t hard to be hard! This is how to travel with kids in easy steps.
- Feeling bored? Here are tons of things to do when stuck at home.