Virtual learning tips for a successful school year are in high demand. Maybe you’re homeschooling, participating in the Davie County Schools Virtual Academy, or in the hybrid in-person/online plan – regardless, this year is a challenge and help is appreciated! If you or your student have found yourself on the “virtual learning struggle bus”, here are a few simple tips to help minimize frustrations and improve opportunities for success.
1. Create a dedicated at-home workspace.
Some families go all out on their virtual learning space, with color coordinated accessories and motivational posters. My children are making good use of the kitchen table! Whatever your home learning space looks like, make sure it is an area free from distractions (like the television or video games), comfortable, clear of clutter, and equipped with all the tools your child will need for the day. This includes fully charged devices, textbooks, calculators, notes and notebooks, and pencils and pens (yes, they still use those!).
2. Establish the ground rules
Virtual learning may be synchronous (real time teaching, like Zoom or Google Meet) or asynchronous (recorded lessons). Either way, students need a schedule and clear expectations. This is especially important if parents are working and students are getting help from neighborhood groups, outside learning facilitators, or are working on their own. Virtual learning takes discipline and motivation. By setting clear expectations and regularly checking in with your child, you can help them stay on track.
3. Take regular breaks.
Sitting at a computer working for hours on end isn’t healthy for your body or your mind. Taking frequent, planned breaks for snacks, physical activity, and mental breaks are good for everyone.
4. Reach out.
Teachers, administrators, and other families are there to help you and your child succeed. It is in everyone’s best interest that they do.
5. Stay positive.
This may be the most difficult thing for all of us. Our children are looking for us to set the example. If we normalize mask wearing, it’s not such a big deal. If we are patient with technology, they will be too. If we use the long car rider line to talk to our children, we’re making a connection instead of complaining about it taking too long.
6. Show grace.
Teachers and administrators aren’t perfect, and they’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to do things that you don’t agree with, or not respond fast enough, or forget to email you back. Remember that many of them are trying to navigate virtual learning with their own children, as well. Your children aren’t perfect, either. There will be days when they won’t come out from under their desks, or will fuss and fight because they are just OVER IT. Lastly, give yourself some grace. Those cute color-coded folders may be in the trash by Thanksgiving, and that’s okay. We’re all doing the best we can, and right now that’s good enough!
Thanks to Kelly Hines for providing this article, Virtual Learning Tips for a Successful School Year. The article, along with much more, can be found in the August 2020 edition of DavieLiFE magazine.