Humorous Quick Reads About Families With Kids

Virtual School – Tips for Success

Published February 6, 2021 in Reading for kids - 0 Comments

Virtual school zoomed from obscurity to dominance in 2020. By 2021 many students have returned to on-campus school. But, online learning remains common for a variety of reasons.

One reason is some parents choose to educate kids at home. Many parents don’t feel safe sending their kids back to campus yet. Another reason is temporary isolation. Any learners exposed to Covid-19, must isolate at home for awhile.

With so many children and teens studying via eschool, parents worry about how to help kids learning. Therefore, I’ve gathered some tips for success at virtual school.

Create a Learning Space for Virtual School

work area for virtual school

Kids study at home. Mom and Dad work at home. Of course, you bump into each other. You can reduce the conflict, however, if each person has a designated space. Keep a few things in mind when setting up a study area.

  • Choose a desk or table over a bed. Kids need a place to sit properly. Also, they concentrate better in a separate work space.
  • Gather necessary supplies before the school day starts. Make children responsible for collecting their laptop and supplies for the next day.
  • Face the computer camera toward a wall, if possible. Nothing disturbs virtual school like family members or pets strolling by.
  • Put the student behind a closed door. Isolation cuts down on noise and distractions. Nevertheless, check occasionally to make sure they are doing schoolwork.

Set Up a Schedule

alarm clock for schedule

Kids struggle with staying on task. Even adults struggle with staying on task. So, help your kids stay focused in the same ways you help yourself.

  • Keep the same routine as if going into school (work). For example, get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush teeth. Repeating familiar behaviors will cue your brain it’s time to start work.
  • Arrive on time at the work area. That’s how you show respect for yourself and your school.
  • Break big assignments down into smaller chunks. Don’t wait until the last day to tackle a home science project.

Use Paper and Pen

Paper and pen for virtual school

The virtual world offers many benefits. Indeed, the internet connects us to almost infinite information. But, we still reside in a real world. We don’t just learn by looking at a computer screen. We also learn by touching and manipulating things.

Thus, we need things to hold in our hand to reinforce lessons. Old fashioned paper and pen provide these benefits. So, use them to help your student learn.

  • Write out the week’s assignments. Post it where it can be seen (and touched).
  • Allow your student to cross off items only after turning them in.
  • Encourage your child to take notes in a notebook during class.

Monitor Progress

monitor progress in virtual school homework

In an ideal world, parents and teachers tell kids what to do and they do it. But we don’t live there. Students need check ins and reminders. Indeed, adults need them too. Thus, parents must encourage their children to be independent. But they need to monitor kids’ progress. Here’s how.

  • Make sure your child is in his study area at the start of each day.
  • Check assignments daily or weekly, depending on your child’s maturity level.
  • Communicate with the teacher regularly. Accordingly, you will have an early warning if there is a problem.

Build in Real Rewards for Virtual School

family game is reward for performance

All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. This old adage still rings true. Young people need to break up the work routine to help their focus. For instance, in-person school provides variety with friends to talk to and walks from class to class. So, build some rewards into their day and week to keep their focus and motivation sharp.

  • Offer a snack midmorning during a break in class.
  • Allow your child to go outside for a few minutes. Exercise stimulates the brain. Also, sunshine elevates the mood.
  • Find non-screen rewards for a successful day. For example, play a board game or bake a pizza together.
  • Reward a child on Friday for completing the week’s assignments. Allow her to choose a restaurant or an (at home) movie for family night.

In the final analysis, virtual school is here to stay. Parents can overcome the drawbacks of stay-at-home school in several ways. First, create a separate work space for each child, and set up a schedule. Next, encourage kids to take notes on paper and monitor their progress. Finally, if you build in rewards for kids you help them succeed in online school.

Get the perspective of former teacher and home school mom, Bree Hester in Tips for Virtual School Success. For another Nikki Bond article about teaching kids, see Story Read Aloud – Are the Kids Listening?

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