Doing Online School
In the continuing twists and turns of this pandemic roller-coaster, many parents face the new problem of meeting their children’s ongoing educational needs. Whether it’s because the schools are still closed or because there are other concerns, jumping into doing online school can be daunting.
How do we do this? Are there special supplies or requirements? How involved will parents have to be?
Try to remember what it was like when you attended school as a child. In the first few days of school, you became acquainted with your new teachers…and rules. You were introduced to the basic curriculum that would be covered for that term and given teasers about some of the really cool things to look forward to. Because doing online school is different in almost every school district, be sure to sign up for any webinars or information seminars that may be offered. Forewarned is forearmed. Knowing class schedules and what teachers are planning can help your family stay on track and not be sidelined by unexpected deadlines and requirements. This will also help you to gather the necessary supplies to be ready for the first day of school!
Okay, now that you know “what”, now you have to set up “where”. Are your children varying ages? Would they be in class, or at the same school together? Most likely not. If your high-schooler would be distracted by what their elementary-aged sibling has on their computer screen, then it’s probably best to situate them in separate rooms. Work with each child to make a dedicated school/study area if at all possible. Things to consider for optimal learning:
- Make the area as much “like” school as possible
- Have a desk and a chair. They don’t have beds at school, so don’t allow them to use their beds during their school day.
- Have a place for everything. Keeping things tidy, especially in tight areas, are better for mental focus.
- A solid meal before classes start, just like a regular school day, will ensure they don’t have grumbling tummies. Stick to the “school” schedule. Kids aren’t allowed to go get a snack when they want one at school, so don’t let them root through the fridge at home until it’s snack or lunchtime.
Ready, Set, LEARN!
The kids will not be the only ones learning this year. This will be a group effort from administrators all the way through the student body. Kids of varying ages will, of course, have different class requirements. Here are some suggestions for doing online school for helping all of your children do the best they can. As always, when taking on something new, be sure to be patient:
- With teachers and school personnel. This may be the first time they’ve had to undertake online learning and may have limited resources to do so.
- Your child(ren) as much as you can. In some cases, this may be like moving to another country because things are so different. If they’re unhappy or not doing well, try to find out why.
- Yourself! If you’re not, or never have been, a teacher then do the best you can. You’re learning too!
Just know that this will be stressful for a while…for all of you. You got this! Maybe consider hiring a cleaning service while you’re doing online school. Taking on the duties of “teacher” on top of your other responsibilities will be challenging enough! Delegate the cleaning to someone else and enjoy learning with your kids.