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
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.
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.
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:
- Laptops when not in use – I just purchased this laptop and I LOVE it!
- Loose leaf paper
- Pens/Pencils – Kids LOVE colored gel pens!
- Construction Paper
- Tape – Kids use a lot of tape at school.
- Glue Sticks – You can never have enough glue sticks.
- Hole Punch
- Paper Clips
- Binder Clips
- Head Phones
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.
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?
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.
You can print out all of these pages or pick and choose.
The packet also contains a printable monthly calendar that isn’t shown in this picture sequence.
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.
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.
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.