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at-home school life surviving virtual learning

Tips for Making Virtual Learning Work for Your Family

First of all, you are doing GREAT! Sometimes, all it takes is a few words of positivity and motivation to get me through another stressful day of at-home school life and virtual learning. Whether in-person learning, homeschooling, or virtual learning, you are going to have challenges. But this time is certainly an unprecedented one. And it is stressful on us all – kiddos, parents, and teachers alike.

We all need to be there for one another and support each other whenever we can!

My Top 10 Tips for Navigating Virtual School

I have loved leaning on others to get helpful tips for online school and advice on how to get through virtual learning. It has been a true lifesaver for me as this is my first year of school with my 5-year-old!

So today, I wanted to pass on some of that great advice I’ve received and what is working for us with this crazy at-home school life!

1. Stay Positive!

Be positive, and try not to speak badly about the situation in front of your kids. I know there are going to be many hiccups as the teachers and students get acclimated to this new environment. But it’s important that we don’t bring unnecessary negativity to the situation.

2. Be Prepared.

supply caddy for distance learning

Be as prepared as possible! I started waking up a bit earlier to be able to get my son signed on at least 10 minutes before class. That way, I have time to make sure everything is working. I also have time to put out his supplies and books, so he is ready for class.

3. Breakfast is Key.

Make sure your kiddos eat breakfast before class! It’s hard sometimes to get up and going so early, especially at home. But if I don’t feed my son breakfast before class, he’s asking for food 5 minutes after class starts. Avoid the distraction of hungry bellies and snacking by making sure they are full before class begins.

4. Be Flexible – With Seating!

bouncy seat interactive seating

I try my best to keep my son seated during class. But I also understand how hard it is to sit at a desk all day long. And for a 5-year-old, it’s especially unrealistic. I love having the option to use a fun, bouncy ball seat to change things up a bit. It actually helps my son sit up a bit straighter, and he thinks it’s an adventure in the moment!

5. Reward Good Behavior.

If your child is having a difficult time paying attention during class, a reward or token system could be super helpful! Reward good behavior during class or good grades with tokens they can redeem for screen time, prizes, or other fun activities. I know for me a token system has been a lifesaver. My son can also earn more tokens throughout the day to be used towards game or iPad time if he behaves during school time.

6. Avoid Distractions.

Find a quiet area away from distractions. Having an at-home school desk has really been helpful for us as well. It’s a dedicated space for school work (not for play). And it kind of helps to get into the “school” mindset each day. Speaking of the school mindset, these fun, school wall posters are great to hang in the dedicated school space.

7. Take Brain Breaks!

It’s a great idea to take some time away from the computer throughout the day. If your child has a 30-minute snack break, take it outside and run around for a bit too! Brain breaks for kids help to break up the monotony of at-home school life. Doing school work during breaks just defeats the purpose of the break! I like to let my son take a quick dip in the pool or play a quick board game during breaks. It’s good for him to have a little fun and take a breather from sitting at the computer.

8. Display the Schedule.

school schedule

Keep a daily schedule near your child’s desk. It keeps them on track, and routines and schedules are just good for kids in general. They do really well knowing what to expect next. I know my son loves seeing what class he is in throughout the day and where he’s going next. The one I bought for him is even customizable!

9. Encourage Class Participation.

Encourage your child to participate and raise their hand just like in traditional school. They can also sing and ask and answer questions just like they’re really in a classroom setting. It’s important for them to feel like they are a part of the class, too!

10. Cut the {Computer} Cord.

NOT literally! But it is important for your child to become as independent as possible on their school computer. Teach them how to mute and unmute, how to work the mouse and keyboard, and where to access any school work in their virtual classroom or at home. We downloaded a Google extension that allows your space bar to become the mute/unmute button. It is a GAME CHANGER for a 5-year-old!

Final Thoughts on Living the At-Home School Life

Hang in there! You really are doing a great job, no matter how your child is learning this school year. But hopefully these distance learning tips will help you along the way.

We are all doing the best we can to navigate these new waters. So give yourself a little leeway.

You’ve got this, mama!virtual school with twins

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