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Tips for Virtual Learning Success + Free Printables!

Even though I’ve been out of the classroom for a few years, I can’t help but think about the stress that parents are under with the daunting task of helping their children to learn virtually this school year. After talking with teachers, parents, and reading advice from moms who blog, I’m sharing tips for virtual learning, plus free printables to use to help with the task.

Tips for Virtual Learning Success

Tips for Virtual Learning

I’ve never taught virtually or helped a student to learn virtually, but I did teach middle school for 26 years. I hate the reason that I’m not in the classroom, but I’m honestly glad that I am not a teacher right now.

Create a Designated Space for Learning

Make part of the learning routine doing so in a designated space.

For an older child who doesn’t need supervision, this may be a desk in their room.

For a younger child, it may be helpful to set up a home schooling space. Perhaps a desk in an office or a table in the family room. Think about the space you have in your home and what works best for your family.

If you have multiple young children, I think having them learn in the same room but at their own desk would be the best option. Don’t forget to provide a comfortable chair for learning.

Be sure that the learning space is well lit and consider blue light glasses for your children if they will be using a computer for long periods of time.

Organize

Use a crate with hanging files to organize papers for each child. It may be necessary to have one crate with files for each subject.

My personal favorite way to organize is with binders. Use a binder for each subject and add dividers if necessary. Use a hole puncher to add notes and worksheets to the binder.

This binder is my favorite from my teaching days. As is a 3 hole punch that I use often.

Keep a spiral notebook handy to use as scrap paper. The notebook can be used to work out math problems, take notes, or for the parent to use when more demonstrating is needed to explain a concept.

Consider using a rolling cart to organize all of the supplies that the children will need to learn.

The cart could hold:

Be sure to have a printer available to use. All of the parents that I talked to about virtual learning found that it was necessary for younger learners to print out pages, rather than to do the work on the computer, especially for reading comprehension.

To save ink, use the “save ink” setting on your printer and print on both sides of paper to avoid waste.

Create a Schedule

School is all about a schedule and kids respond well to knowing what is going to happen when.

Create a schedule for virtual learning that works for your family and get kids in the habit of following the schedule. Soon it will be second nature and the kids will know what to do when.

Accountability

Hold your child accountable for their learning. A child’s job is school and the tasks that their teacher gives them to do are their responsibility.

If a child isn’t doing their work or taking their learning seriously, there should be consequences.

Reward your child for their effort and success!

Be sure your child participates in all Zoom or Google Meet sessions. It will make them feel like a part of their class and it shows the teacher that they are eager to learn. Plus, you can’t learn if you aren’t there, so why skip an opportunity to learn along with classmates?

Breaks

Build play time into the schedule.

For older students who are very motivated, you may have to remind your child to take a break. A focused student often doesn’t want to stop working until all of their work is complete.

Ask the Teacher for Help if You Need it

If your child isn’t understanding a concept and you aren’t successful in explaining it, ask the teacher for help.

Most teachers will gladly give extra help when a child needs it.

Work with Other Parents

If you feel it is safe, consider pairing up with other families to learn.

Consider starting a Facebook group for parents of children in your child’s class. Use the group to encourage each other, offer tips, or get advice.

Use Real Life to Teach

Teach your children through activity. If you are cooking, use the opportunity to let the child read and comprehend the recipe. Add in math with doubling a recipe or halving it.

Teach what you know! Use this extra time at home to teach your child life skills. How to do laundry, budget, make house repairs, maintain the lawn are all life skills that are valuable to learn.

Free Printables to Help with Virtual Learning

Use these free printables to help your child be a success at virtual school.

Virtual Learning Planner Cover

You can print out all of these pages or pick and choose.

Virtual Learning Today's Schedule

The packet also contains a printable monthly calendar that isn’t shown in this picture sequence.

Virtual Leaning Daily Subject Plan

Use the assignment log for organization or use the remarks column as a space to check off completed assignments.

Younger kids might like to put a sticker in the remark section after and assignment is completed.

Virtual Learning Assignment Log

Any teacher will tell you that reading is important for a child’s success. Encourage your child to read! Read with your child and talk about what you’ve read.

Virtual Learning Reading List
Virtual Learning Supply List
Virtual Learning Score Sheets
Virtual Planner Online Resources

To get this free printable packet, sign up here and you’ll receive a welcome email with the password to my members only free printable library. The library includes this packet plus LOTS more free printables that you will enjoy.

If you are already a subscriber, the password is in the email that you received about this post.

Virtual Learning Free Printables

18 Comments

    1. I’ll bet that your sister’s private tutoring business will boom this fall! I miss teaching but I’m glad that I’m not in the classroom right now. Virtual learning is stressful for teachers, parents, and kids!

      Paula

  1. Hi Paula!
    I pinned this to my homeschool board. I’m very thankful to be already homeschooling my kids, and not go through the stress that others are right now. As far as a printer– well, I think there is or is about to be a shortage on those! We needed a new one, and I was able to borrow one from my office– especially since I’m working from home anyway!

    These are good tips– I already implement many of them. I keep a hanging file folder for each child for each grade, and put in important papers like drs. appointment summaries, field trip brochures, or achievement awards— and also samples of their schoolwork. Now if I need anything and I know which year, it is very easy to find.

    And every year I start out with a scheduling plan, and every year after a week or two I usually have to adjust the plan. So that’s my input– be willing to adjust your plan if the first plan isn’t working very well. Also– remember that if you has a parent are spending 1-2 hours one on one with each of your kids with their schoolwork, that one on one time is more than they would get in a classroom. Give yourself grace.

    Liberty

    1. I hadn’t thought about a shortage on printers, that is sure to happen!

      Keeping a hanging file for each child for each year is a great idea.

      I hope that you and your kids have a great school year! It’s wonderful that you’ve been homeschooling so there is no change for you or your kids to fret over.

      Paula

  2. Hi Paula!! It was so nice that you “drew” from your teaching experience to help those that have a daunting task right now! Hopefully this “virtual learning” doesn’t last too long…for the sake of the kids and teachers!

    1. I hope that this post helps some parents who may be overwhelmed with making virtual learning work for their family. Like you, I hope that virtual learning doesn’t last too long.

      Paula

  3. Love your printables… and your tips for virtual learning! You always have great tips for teaching things!

    1. I hope that these tips help parents struggling with helping their children to be successful with virtual learning. The teacher in me can’t stop worrying over kids and teachers!

      Paula

  4. Great tips, Paula! I know that virtual school and homeschooling are not the same thing, but many organization systems could work for both. I keep each of my kids’ school items in binders and store them, along with their books, in their own large basket. I also use an online planner called Homeschool Planet to help them (and me!) keep track of their assignments.

    1. You are amazing for being a homeschooling mom! I can’t imagine how much work and dedication it takes to do the job properly. Homeschool Planet sounds like something that a parent would find very useful for homeschooling and virtual learning.

      Paula

  5. Thank you for sharing these tips, Paula. I’m gearing up for virtual learning for both my daughter and her neighborhood friend who has two working parents. It will benefit the girls to have the social interaction, and I’ll have more time to blog since my daughter will have a playmate. I’m definitely going to try some of your suggestions, like setting up desk spaces, making a schedule and getting the hanging file folders. Wish me luck!

  6. These are great tips, Paula! As a teacher, I am getting ready to go back into school for a mixture of in-person and distance learning. These tips and resources will be very helpful to many parents and families who will be heading back to school soon. Pinned!

  7. Paula, I have 3 sons, and each one of them is dealing with virtual learning, in a different way. My youngest (18 year old) is NOT AT ALL serious, while the oldest is highly dedicated but the middle fellow focuses thoroughly on the theory learning thru virtual – but struggles in his practicals. I dread September becoz schools will probably start and just the thought of this virus causing more havoc is a complete nightmare.
    Thank you for sharing your article at Meraki Link Party.
    We hope to see you again.
    Naush

  8. Paula, this is a great set of ideas for students. Learning at home was so hard for my boys earlier this spring. I think your printables will be invaluable. We’ve chosen a smaller “pod” for school this year in the hopes that we can keep it going even if the public school shifts to online learning. Thanks for your tips!

  9. Great tips, Paula. As retired teachers, we both know how stressful this year will be for everyone. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s!

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