Your Back to School Online Learning Checklist
If you’re like us, the thrill of back-to-school shopping is just as exciting for us adults as it is for our kiddos. Finding out who their teacher is going to be, comparing schedules with friends, and practicing locker combinations have all been filed away in the “On Hold” folder for now due to coronavirus. But local school districts are announcing plans for the upcoming school year, and we’ve got some ideas that will help you create a fun virtual learning environment for your little student.
Create a Space For Your Scholar
As tempting as it may be, don’t just stick your kiddo at the kitchen table and hope for the best. Set up as close to a classroom setting as possible, including a desk, easy access to supplies, room for a computer, and a comfortable chair or flexible seating.
Consider Some Small Incentives
When your child is at school and has an exceptional moment, they may receive an incentive or something special from the teacher or principal. Why not implement this at home? Especially since our kiddos will be distracted by outside forces while learning from home, we need to help them focus on schoolwork, and reward them when we can. We’re not saying break the bank. Something as simple as a sticker system for elementary school-aged children, or a special snack or meal for secondary kids, can be exciting.
Post “School Rules” Visibly and Clearly
With your kids learning from home, you’ve just earned yourself a new job as Principal, so congratulations! Teachers have probably repeated school rules to your children until they were blue in the face, but now things are different. Your kids feel more “at home” while at home, so they’ll already feel relaxed. This can be a good thing for the most part, but it might be worth purchasing a poster board to clearly outline your expectations regarding screen time, volume levels in the house, food and snack rules, and social time. Keep the expectations age-appropriate, and take some time in August to reiterate those rules so that there is no confusion.
Spruce Up the Supply Cabinet
Your current office supply stash at home is most likely bare and minimal, which makes sense because you normally don’t have to run a learning institution out of your home. But times are different, so the next time you online shop for something, throw in some extra supplies in the cart. In our humble opinion, now’s not the time for plain, generic supplies. Make things fun and mix it up by getting upgraded supplies that will help keep your babes motivated to use them for however long this virtual learning experience will be.
Set Time Aside to Do a Daily Check-in
We don’t just mean the mandatory check-in online with your kiddo’s teacher. We mostly mean to set aside time from your insane schedule to check in with your child. As young as they are, they still have feelings about all that is going on. Remember that they haven’t been social or seen friends for months now. They have not had to dedicate the energy and focus toward a computer the way that they will this schoolyear. Sitting down at our own jobs full-time is hard enough, so imagine how your child is feeling about all these changes. Your “parent” attitude is now clashing with “principal” attitude, and you are the leader all the time, which can be scary. But take this opportunity to be patient with your child, check-in, and find out what they need. You might be surprised at how a simple change can make all the difference.
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