Since Covid and online learning still an option for the new year, I wanted to share some tips and tidbits that helped me. At-home learning, Online learning, homeschooling, virtual learning, no matter what you call it, it’s something that we’ve all had to adapt to. I survived an entire year of virtual learning with my two boys. I feel like I did kindergarten and 2nd grade all over again. You may be saying how hard it can be, but it can be overwhelming and frustrating. It was an experience I will never forget. If you’re thinking about keeping your kids at home this school year, here are 7 foolproof tips for virtual learning that will make your life a little bit easier.
Like many of you, I struggled for the first few weeks with virtual learning at the beginning of the school year. It took some time to get comfortable with the new norm, not to mention learning the programs and getting into a routine. I was so frustrated for those weeks; I wanted to pull my hair out!
Below are some tips that have helped me be a happier, more productive, work smarter, not harder at-home parent/teacher!
- Take time to breathe and go with the flow. Virtual learning will look and be different from learning at school. Try not to stress about your kid’s work but try to enjoy learning together. Super Important!
After doing virtual learning for a few months, it becomes smooth sailing, kind of. You will have connection issues and some meltdowns some days, but as long as you get on a schedule, you’ll be okay.
Our boys did such a great job adapting to all the changes. They still fussed about having to do school work in the morning, but they seemed to forget once they got going. The fussing also happened during in-person instruction; only during virtual learning at home, I got to hear it more, lucky me.
These twistable crayons are great. You can twist the crayon up instead of tearing the paper off the crayon, and they don’t break!
- Set up a workspace. Find a space where your kiddo will be comfortable but also be productive. Both of my boys did their school work from our dining room. I had them sitting across from each other but had to move my eldest kid because his class could see our kitchen, and we’re always in the kitchen. So I rearranged his seat, and now it works great. Try different areas to see what works best for you and them. After a few months, I moved my eldest son to another room again. I found that wearing headphones all day made their ears sore. So we figured out a solution where they wouldn’t have to wear them unless they wanted to.
Having a 1″ binder with folders for each subject helps keep their papers organized and neat. After each quarter, I took all the paperwork out and placed it in a box, just in case they needed anything later.
I bought this cool old school pencil sharpener. I purchased an electric one, but it broke after a couple of weeks. This sharpener has worked great, and the boys love using it. It’s funny how something as simple as a sharpener can make them so happy; who would have thought!
- Set up a daily routine so your kiddo knows what to expect out of their day. This one is super important; I can’t stress this enough. Our kid’s teachers did a great job with a class schedule, which they followed religiously. They check off each item as they complete it. My youngest, who was in kindergarten last year, asked me 100 times a day how many things he had left. I would tell him 100 times a day to check his list. Patience is a virtue.
This carousel is great for adding pencils, markers, colored pencils, and highlighters. I taped a couple of American flag pinwheels to it, so they have something to look at when they say the pledge of allegiance.
A pencil box for each kid helps them keep their stuff tidy and neat.
- Leave time in the day to be creative and let their imagination roam free. Do some arts and crafts, bake, paint, or build. Our boys love drawing and building, so I tried to incorporate something each day. They have music and art as part of their curriculum, so I don’t always have to think of things to do with them.
Even something as simple as having a coloring book around is excellent to keep your kiddo’s creativity flowing.
The Hydro Flask is the best investment I’ve made regarding school supplies. I know it’s pricey, but it’s worth it! Before I bought these for the boys, I went through several water bottles. After I bought the hydro flask, I have yet to buy another one. It keeps the water cold during Arizona hot summers; it’s gotten a beating, and it’s still rolling strong! I love it and so do our boys!
- Take recess breaks outside for 20 minutes. It will help them get some sun and fresh air, which is a must, especially with all the hours spent inside doors. Vitamin D is essential. When my boys don’t want to play in the backyard, we walk around our neighborhood. They usually go outside after lunch and again after school.
- Make sure your kiddo is taking daily “brain breaks.” It’s easy for parents to try to get everything done as soon as possible, especially if you also have to do housework or work from home. Not rushing through the day to get done early is vital. My boys take two 15 minute brain breaks, one in the morning and one after lunch. Taking “brain breaks” throughout their day makes for happier, more attentive kids. Happy kids, Happy parents.
Flashcards are great for kiddos to learn their math problems. We do flashcards after school or after we read at night. The key to flashcards is to be consistent with them.
If you’re going to get headphones, get wireless. I found that the cool Spider-man headphones with cords didn’t work for online learning. They kept getting caught on the edge of the table, and they couldn’t move around when they had to stand up. These wireless headphones are great for blocking out house noise, especially if you have pets or work from home.
- Be kind to yourself. Teaching can be challenging for you and your kids. This new normal is new to you as well as to them. It’s been a learning experience for everyone, but don’t beat yourself if you feel frustrated. Take a time out and do the best you can!
I have our boy’s backpacks on their chair. They put their things inside their bag. It helps keep them in a routine of putting their things away and keeps the table clear.
It’s hard being your kid’s teacher. Teachers are fun, and kids listen to teachers. But parents as teachers, it’s just not the same. I learned quickly; you have to be patient because it can be frustrating. The more I practiced patience, the better I’ve become at communicating with them.
Hopefully, these 7 foolproof tips for virtual learning have helped or inspired some ideas. Since Covid and closures’ uncertainty this past year, it’s nice to know you have the option of keeping your kids at home or sending them back to school. Whatever you decide for your kid is precisely what you should do for them. It’s never too late to make your life a little bit easier during this time with these tips!
Last Updated on 08/04/21 by Darlingdew Lifestyle Staff