By Daniel Sherman of Dad Solo
Teaching students at home is a challenge you might not have been ready for. While most children are learning in person this school year, if your kids are forced to go back to virtual learning, it’s your job to ensure they – and you – have everything needed for a successful school year. Here are some tips from Alliance Tutoring to help ensure your children continue to receive a great education!
Set up your children’s learning space to fit their needs
The area where your child will learn is one of the most crucial components to their academic success. Start by looking for a quiet space where they can tend to their lessons without distraction. Ideally, they will have their own bedroom and you can add a desk and computer so they can access their virtual or homeschool classrooms with ease.
Discuss with your children’s teachers what supplies they’ll need. You want to ensure that you provide the vast majority of these items at home. Younger students will need, at the minimum, crayons, paper, and pencils. Middle and high schoolers may need additional tools, as well, such as a compass, protractor, or calculator.
Invest in the right technology
You already know that you need a computer. A Chromebook is one of the best models for students, but there are other pieces of technology that will enhance and protect your students’ learning environment. If your student is expected to attend virtual meetings/classroom sessions, make sure you have a quality webcam and speakers. It’s also a good idea to utilize antivirus software to keep their information safe and to reduce the chances of malware or spyware inadvertently being installed on their computer or your home network.
Master the daily routine
When your children are in a brick-and-mortar classroom, they are given a schedule on the first day of school. This ensures they know what is expected of them any given day, and there are typically no surprises. Do the same at home. Keep in mind, however, that your virtual school day doesn’t have to follow the same pattern as they would on campus. We Are Teachers asserts that learning during the pandemic is very different, and there is no reason to push for an eight-hour educational experience every day.
Your daily routine should include breakfast, classwork, reading, and time to play. Even your high school students can benefit from taking breaks to focus on their own interests. To ensure they can get back on track when it’s time, do restrict their access to phones and video games during the school day.
If you’re working at home with kids, you’ll have to develop a daily work routine as well. Create an easy-to-understand schedule for the entire family, set aside time for work and family time, and set some ground rules such as dictating when children are allowed to enter your office.
Get help if you’re in over your head
Finally, don’t be afraid – or ashamed – to seek help if you need it. Your child’s teachers may not be able to provide everything each student needs. Remember, their resources are spread thin, and they are likely responsible for anywhere from 20 to 70 students each day. Consider enrolling your child in math or science tutoring if you see that they are struggling and these are not their strong points. Even just one or two sessions with an experienced educator can help your student get back on the right track.
Until the virus is eradicated, there’s always a chance that students will be expected to jump back into a virtual classroom at a moment’s notice. Everything you do now to get prepared for that will help set everyone on the path toward academic success during the pandemic and beyond.