Back to school season certainly feels different this year, right? Of course. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives as we know it, and that goes for our little ones as well. Will classrooms ever be the same? I don’t have the answer to that. However, I do have some ways that can make this school year a little better and easier for parents. So, if your kids are learning through a virtual classroom, these are some ways to adjust. I hope you’re all keeping your heads held high as we still learn to navigate through this.
Create a Schedule
The only day to function effectively is through a schedule. Create individual schedules for each of your kids’ classes and make them visible. I’d suggest hanging up each schedule in their bedrooms or on your fridge–pretty much anywhere you know they’ll see it. Sticking to this rhythm will only make everyone’s life easier, including yours. There’ll be no question on what’s going to happen that day, what assignments are due, or which projects to work on. Make sure to include breaks and lunchtime on their schedules too!
Have a Designated Learning Area
This is very important! Have you already assigned a designated working area to your kids? This might mean that you’ll have to shuffle some things around your house to make it work, but it’s crucial that you find a way. If your kids have desks in their rooms, this makes the whole situation easier for everyone. However, if that’s not the case, you’ll have to get creative. I strongly suggest that you keep kids away from their beds or the couch when it comes to getting schoolwork done. It’s a distraction, it’s ineffective, and it can mess with their posture. Anything with a table and chair is the best way to go.
Make Room for Creative Freedom
Don’t restrict your kids so much, especially as they navigate through this new learning environment. Give them room to express their creativity, even while doing their schoolwork. If they want to take a break to draw, listen to some music, or write out their feelings–let them! They need to exercise their brains outside of the classroom, and allowing them to gauge their own interests makes this easier.
Provide Support, But Don’t Be Overbearing
Be there for them, but don’t cause them any stress. As parents, our desire to help can sometimes go south if we’re doing too much. Remind them that you’re there to help them if they need it, but don’t be pushy. We need to keep them as calm and focused as possible, and not be the overbearing (but loving!) parents we can sometimes be.
Stay in Touch with Their Teachers
Communicating with teachers via email and text is the new normal, so be sure to do it. Be cognizant of any messages that may come through from your kids’ teachers, and stay up to date with all of their work. This communication with their teachers can help with performance, patterns, and helping them finish the school year successfully. You can also ask teachers how you can further help your kids at home.
Look for Outside Resources
There are so many ways that your kids can learn and expand their skills beyond the virtual classroom. I know that kids don’t want to add an extra workbook or reading material to their plate, so you can make this fun. From games to online videos and even television shows, your kids can learn from places they wouldn’t expect, and not get bored while doing so. The best and free place to get some extra educational resources? YouTube! Trust me on this, one search will lead you to so many helpful videos.
What are you doing to help get your kids through the school year? Are your kids still learning at home? I’d love to know!