Many people assumed schools would resume in the fall with a few minor changes to how classrooms are conducted. As the start of school approaches, it has become apparent that virtual schooling will still be a necessity in the 2020-21 school year. This checklist can help you create a proper environment for remote learning, so you and your children will be better prepared for the new experiences this year.
Stock Up on Supplies
When your children return to school, they will need to add PPE items to the school supplies they'll be required to bring with them. While they're learning at home, you'll have to ensure they have those supplies, and you'll have to stock up on supplies that the school would normally provide. This might include devoting a laptop or desktop computer to your children's online learning or supplying them with equipment and supplies they'll need to complete projects at home.
Designate a Study Area
You should also set up an area in your home that's designated for learning and studying only. Ideally, this should be a room to itself, but it can be one part of a larger room if necessary. The area should be clear of distractions, such as televisions, radios, and phones, so your kids will be able to concentrate on learning. In addition to a computer that has a monitor at eye level and a chair with proper back support, you can create comfortable reading nooks with just a beanbag chair and reading lamp. Be sure there's plenty of natural and artificial light in this area.
Tailor a Schedule to Each Child's Needs
In a normal situation, your child will bring homework that wasn't completed in school, but this can put too much on your kids in a home-school environment. You can be creative in developing a schedule that works for your kids and modify it as needed. Generally, it's a good idea to leave one block of time at the end of each school day for completing assignments. Additionally, remember to schedule breaks and a lunch hour. As for the blocks of time devoted to each subject, they should be set up according to the child's skill level. Subjects that come easy to them should be relegated to shorter periods, while more time should be assigned to lessons that the child finds more challenging.
Calendars Help Students Prepare
Many department stores sell dry erase calendars that you can set up in the home-school area for your children to review. You can communicate with the virtual learning instructors to find out what assignments are due each day for the month, so they can be added to the calendar. This will help you and your kids keep up with lessons and assignments, so you won't have to worry about them falling behind. If you have kids that like to get ahead, keeping up a current calendar can help them complete assignments early. This can be especially appealing to older children who want to make sure they won't have assignments due over each weekend.
Try to remember that your kids aren't used to eight full hours of studying and learning in their brick and mortar schools. They watch movies, take field trips, and spend a few hours a week in gym class. This mix of physical activity and entertainment is still important even though they're learning at home. It may be more important during a lockdown because it can begin to feel like a punishment to them.
Try to set aside time each day for something fun, so your kids won't feel burned out by too much school work. Arranging an outing that resembles a school field trip, such as visiting a zoo or amusement park, can be fun for the whole family. It may take some research to find an attraction that's open, but anything that gets your kids out of the house for a few hours will be fun and rewarding for everyone.
When you do drive, you’ll want to ensure you’re staying as safe as possible. Since COVID is a respiratory disease you may want to change out your existing car filters with breathable air filters. The air you breathe inside your car can be more polluted than the air outside. With COVID-19 affecting your lungs, you’ll want to ensure you have clean, breathable air.
But eventually, in-classroom learning will resume full-time and you'll want your kids to be prepared. Helping them make the most of their virtual learning experience will ensure they'll maintain the same level of progress as their classmates. They may even return to school with an advantage if they perform well in virtual learning environments.