More and more districts are deciding that virtual learning is the safest way to have children return to school this fall. This new change can be difficult and confusing for parents and children to navigate. As the school year begins, here are a few tips to set your child up for success while learning virtually.
1.Communicate with your child’s teacher
Before the school year begins, be sure to communicate with your child’s teacher(s). Have a conversation via phone or email to discuss the teacher’s expectations and plan moving forward. Establishing a relationship early on can be helpful to mitigate your child’s anxieties. This early communication can also be helpful if you have specific concerns about your child’s development or learning needs.
2. Create boundaries
It can be challenging to get in the mind-set of school, when learning is taking place at your kitchen counter. Try to create boundaries for school to help with the separation of school and home. For example, you might have your child:
- Get dressed in school clothes each morning
- Pack a snack and lunch the night before
- Set up a designated room in the house for school
- Use special school supplies
These boundaries can help you and your child view school time as a designated and important time of the day.
3. Set a schedule
In order to keep everyone on the same page, most teachers post a set schedule for their classroom. This is an easy tool that you can implement during virtual learning. Use a whiteboard or easel to post an hour by hour schedule for your child to follow. It will help keep your child on track and provide a routine throughout the day. Depending on your child’s developmental age, it may be helpful to create a visual schedule.
4. Stay positive about virtual learning
Children often feed off of their parent’s energy. So, if you’re showing frustration or anxiety towards virtual learning, it’s a possibility that your child might start to feel that way too. Try to show that you can be flexible during these virtual learning times. Your positivity towards virtual learning can lead to your child’s positivity towards learning, too.
5. Have positive and fun things to look forward to after “school”
Children often love school because they enjoy the extra curricular activities they can share with friends. Since this school year is starting out differently, your child might miss their afternoon activities. To boost your child’s morale, try scheduling fun and positive things that they can look forward to after school. For example, your child might enjoy:
- Trying a new playground
- Doing a science experiment in the backyard
- Having a picnic outside for lunch
- Coding their own video game
- Baking dessert for their family
Even though this school year is very different than most, there are still ways to set your child up for success. Just remember this is a learning experience for everyone, so try to stay positive and take one day at a time.