I had a pretty good experience with virtual school last spring. I will admit, the first couple of weeks were a little shaky, but then I implemented a few things that made the experience better for me and my child. I know that all families are different. I would love to share the things that worked well for my family’s virtual school experience.
-Children are used to structure because most school’s are pretty structured. Things are going to look a lot different to them if we don’t keep a structured environment at home. We need for the transition to virtual school to go as smoothly as possible.
-Schedule is very important; kids go by their teacher’s schedule everyday. This is something that you want to try to mimic at home
-Have the teacher’s class schedule printed out or written in your home. If the teacher doesn’t provide one, make up your own.
-By having a schedule posted, Your child will know exactly when things begin and end
-Include Recess in the schedule; kids look forward to this everyday!
-Examples: Play Tic Tac Toe with your child, board games, card games
-Use online workout videos specifically for kids, go old school and let them jump rope, race in the yard or in the driveway (if you have the space)
-Play games with them if you can, let them do something fun during their recess time
Be On Time
-Have your child seated at the computer before class time (at least 5-15 minutes)
-Anything could happen with technology so you want to be early in case you are experiencing connection problems
-Things will happen with technology and it will be out of your control; there will be connection issues and the screen may freeze. When the screen freezes it usually means that the person you are communicating with can no longer see or hear you in real time. The same thing may happen with the teacher and he/she may not even have any knowledge of it. If you encounter this, be patient and don’t panic. This issue usually remedies itself within a seconds or a few short minutes.
-Have a conversation with your child about expectations; we can expect that things may not always go as planned with technology
-Patience is key; small lessons in patience may be helpful
-These can be taken in various increments 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes
-For Short Brain Breaks, Go Noodle is a great resource for mindfulness and active videos.
-Other brain break examples would be read book, playing with puzzles or videos, read a book, play with legos, stretch or go for a quick walk
-Use Storyline Online to have an actor or actress read to them
-Give your child something to do quickly in order to help them refocus and get back to their work
Early Finisher Activities
-This is when your child says, “I’m finished” and you as the parent/caregiver are busy doing something else. You need a few extra minutes to complete your task or you need for your child be busy a little while longer.
-Have your child to check their work
-They could also read; reading is so important!
-Extension Activities: this is something that may be provided by your child’s teacher provides, it’s usually activities related to their school lesson
Look for directives from the school
-Your child’s school may send out some type of communication letting you know when to pick up devices, meet the teacher, school supplies, etc.
-This communication may also include a sample daily schedule
-Reading this material from the school may help minimize confusion and give you a better understanding of what is upcoming
Posting Ideas for Brain Breaks & Early Finishers
-Post the schedule on the wall or refrigerator. You could even use a notebook or post-it notes
-Here are more ideas for brain breaks and early finisher activities
I want to encourage you as a parent or caregiver! This may not be an easy task – to care for a child or children and be responsible for teaching them and helping them understand their school work. We can do this!
Encourage your child as well. They may be missing their school building, school friends, teachers and staff. It’s going to take some grace and patience to get through this, but we can do it!
Also, Do what is best for your family! Hopefully some of these tips will work for you! If so, let me know!
Questions? Leave a comment or contact me here