Maybe your new year's resolution was to tackle the chaos in your home with virtual learning. If so, we've got some great tips for you!
Staying at home and learning on a device all day can really hurt children and their need for routine. Although you can't move your children down a hallway and into different rooms every hour like they would at school, there are a few great tips you can try out to make learning at home an easier transition.
1.) Set their alarm 15 minutes earlier than typical.
This gives a little grace. Maybe they need more time to eat their breakfast or they really want a little TV time before their day starts. We could all use a little more time, so why not start the day a little earlier?! Who knows, it might help them retire for bed earlier, too.
2.) Play music before school starts.
This helps ease the chaos and rush of the morning and might even encourage a smile or dance.
3.) Calendars are key
Place a dry erase board above their work space and clearly write out their schedule. Mark breaks with a different color, and be sure to leave a space for anything out of the norm like a big test or a fun Science experiment. We suggest grabbing the dry erase boards that have a small cork board included. This gives space to pin notes about due dates for physical work that may need to be dropped at the school.
4.) Set up one main workspace efficiently
Think about how to interact and how many classes they have. We suggest a bookshelf with bins or trays for each class. Set up a binder with pockets, extra notebook paper, and its own zip pouch within the binder with a few pens and pencils. This ensures everything they need for that class is all together and they aren't scrambling for something once the class has already started.
5.) Try a change of scenery.
If you know your child has a repetitive schedule that doesn't have a lot of change, align the schedule with different spots in the house. We suggest following the sun and opening your shades. If the sun pours into the living room in the morning, start there. Move into your children's bedrooms after lunch. Their device can easily move with them and the trays/bins from tip #4 means they can easily grab the work for that subject. This helps it feel more like different classrooms without having to have a full set up in every single room.
6.) Get a wi-fi extender
Nothing is worse then needing your child to move to another room while you might have work only to find your router doesn't reach that room. Avoid them missing their class easily with a wi-fi extender like the one.
7.) Try eating outdoors
While this can't happen every day, do your best to take lunch outdoors when possible. This helps get some much needed Vitamin D, and encourages play and movement.
8.) Engage as much as possible
If your child has a lot of asynchronous learning and you have the time, have them meet you to talk about what they are doing. The more they can have true interaction with humans, the more "real" school feels to them.
9.) Try a kickband
Kickbands are a great tool for squirmy students. It required two legs on a chair and slips right over them, so it takes seconds to install. Your child can rest and bounce their feet on top, or kick their feet up against it. It helps them keep movement, which in return keeps their focus on the task at hand. Trythis one out.
10.) Reward routine
Don't forget to reward your child(ren) and yourself. End of the week ice cream treats or a weekend bed time extension. Rewards will remind your kid doing their part doesn't go unnoticed.