Virtual School Blues

Well, parents, we should be in the thick of things with virtual learning with our children. I know it's been rough trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Some of you are juggling full-time jobs and trying to be a teacher's assistant. Some of you are single parents doing this. Some of you are working from home with your spouse and still trying to figure it out. And I haven't forgotten the stay at home moms who probably have a ton of things that are already on your to-do lists, but you're staying on top of your kids, making sure they are attending their lives on time. Or making sure they look appropriate while the camera is on. Whatever it is, my hats go off to you all!

Are there things you're still trying to figure out to your life together and make sure that your kids are learning and enjoying learning? We have no idea what this may look like for the unforeseeable future. Many hope that kids can safely return to school before the end of the year. I've given up that hope, unfortunately. So I've decided to make sure that I am doing what I can for my kids in this situation.

I'm focusing on the here and now. That's been helpful with taking one step at a time and making sure the kids are in a good place. In case you're still trying to figure things out with school. Here are a few tips!

  1. Kids do thrive with structure. I'm sure that your children have a school schedule that they are following. Try your best to make sure that your children understand their plan and ensure that you all can follow it as closely as possible. If possible, continue to move doctor visits either at the beginning of the day or the end of the school day.

  2. The little ones will need more guidance with schedules. If kids are coming from daycare and starting kindergarten, they will need a lot of patience and guidance. After all, that would be the scenario in school. Guess what; it's ok. It's to be expected; they are younger and need lots of reminders. Remind your self that it may take a little more for our elementary students to get good with schedules. Give yourself and the babies a bit of grace!

  3. Find your kids' method of learning. If you have visual learners, write the schedule somewhere where they can see it. Suppose they are auditory learners, set timers for them. If they are tactile learners, have them practice writing out their plan. Sometimes, it may be adequate to do all three for your kids.

  4. Create a space for learning. Dollar tree is my friend, and you can find great ideas to create an inviting space for them. You want your children to feel comfortable and relaxed. You also want your child to be ready to learn. Some children need visual stimulation (maps, posters, pictures nearby). Other children don't require as much. You should talk with your child about their current school space and figure out what is needed to create the best school ambiance.

  5. I know I said that schedules are necessary, which they are. YOu also have to learn when to be flexible. There are many changes that both you and your children are dealing with, and sometimes you have to have the ability to be flexible to meet your household's needs.

  6. Please don't forget to utilize your resources. Your child's teacher is a great resource. If you or your child have questions, don't forget to ask. We understand that this is difficult for the teachers, but this is their job to answer questions you may have. Advocate for your children; this may mean that you have to go to school administrators or the school board. Virtual learning is a challenge, and if you have a student with needs that already complicate education, please be sure that you're getting the necessary support. Also, if you need help with making sure that your children are logging on every day and doing their school work, enlist family and friends who may support you. It takes a village to help our children!

  7. Supplement activities with fine motor skills. A lot of work in elementary school is helping them with fine motor skills. Take time with your little ones to cut, color, and use the pencil to strengthen these skills.

  8. Kids like to move around. They even move around in class. It's ok for them to move. Perhaps if you have room, create centers. If not, log out for a few minutes to help kids get their wiggles out if they become disruptive to their class. Between breaks, it might be helpful to have them to brain break activities. You can find lots of these on Pinterest.

Happy learning! You got this, Mom and Dad! As usual, I'm rooting for you!

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