Virtual Learning Tips for Parents


In my last post, Tips for Teachers for Virtual Learning, I gave tips that teachers could use to help with virtual learning.  The tips help both teachers and students.  However, I feel that there are tips that parents can do at home to help as well.  I am sharing these tips as both a teacher and a parent who is participating in virtual learning right now.  In my district, we have been back to school with fully virtual learning for a week and a half.  Here are some tips for you, as parents, that I think you will find helpful:

1. Have a designated space for your child to learn.  In school, students have their own space at their desk or table.  I'm not saying you should go out and buy a desk, but if you already have one or want to purchase one, by all means use it.  There are some great options available for desks too.  They even make folding desks that you can put away (like the foldable tables) when you're done using them.  Otherwise, find a space for your child to use that is set up for him or her and that they know it is "their school space".  I think you'll find that this is helpful because it will be the place they know to go "for school". Here's a folding desk that looks nice and is easily stored:

2. Print your child's teacher's schedule.  Have it next to your child.  Having a schedule is something that I recommended for teachers.  Having it available for your child will benefit both you and your child.  Children thrive off of predictable routines.  When they have their schedule visible, it helps them know how their day will go and what comes next.  It provides structure.  I would also recommend laminating it if you have access to a laminator.  If not, Amazon has some inexpensive options that are great.  I personally have an Amazon brand laminator at home and love it.  Here it is:

3. Provide opportunities for your child to release some energy.  Even while your child is working, there are some great products out there to help them maintain focus.  For starters, fidgets.  There are a HUGE variety of fidgets out there.  Not every kind works for every kid.  They are usually relatively inexpensive, so get a few and find the one that works for your child.  Here are a few ideas that I use with both my own children and with the students that I support.


Along with those fidgets, I also recommend a wobble seat cushion.  It has air inside and provides some core engagement, but also some sensory.  Here's the one that I have:

Another thing I recommend, and my own children have, are stationary bikes under their desk.  It gives them a chance for their feet to move, while sitting still.  This can help enhance focus.  Kickbands are also another great option. 

5. Provide opportunities for screen-free activities.  When the school day is over, or if you get a break in the middle, have your child engage in some activities that are off of the screens (computer/TV).  Help your child to be active.  Go outside and get some fresh air.  Draw with chalk or do bubbles. Go for a walk.  Do a nature scavenger hunt.  Play board games.  Have fun together!  *Board games need their own post, so look for that one in the near future!

6. Take some time to teach your children buttons that they will need to click for their classes.  Teach them how to use basic computer skills/functions.  This will help them navigate during their class.  It will also help create and encourage independence.  If they are relying on you for each and every step throughout this process, it can be much harder on them and you in the long run.  

7. Be patient.  Being in school virtually and being in school virtually are two different things.  It's OKAY if it's not perfect.  Just try your best.   Give yourself and your child time to get used to this new way of learning.  Don't stress if it doesn't go exactly as planned. 



Teacher Tips for Virtual Learning



This year will certainly be different.  Different may mean that it's a change from how we are used to having our classes and seeing our students.  However, it will be the same in many ways too.  As educators, we always have the opportunity to teach students.  Be it in person or virtually.  You can inspire your students from a distance too. 

With that said, I want to share some things that will help make distance learning a little smoother for you and your students.

1. Make sure you have a schedule with a predictable routine.  This will help you and your students stay on track and will also provide structure for your students' day.  Just like when we are in the brick and mortar school building where there is a schedule, an online schedule should be used to help the flow of the school day and help your students to know what comes next.  Whether your day will be the same length, bell to bell like when in the building, or shortened hours, create a schedule that will work for you.  I would also recommend that your students have access to the schedule.  It is up to their parents to display it for them, but having it next to them where they can see is very beneficial.

2. Breaks also need to be built into your schedule.  Sitting for long periods of time is HARD.  It is hard for you and super hard for your students. Both you and your students will need them. Breaks that get your students moving are even better! GoNoodle.com is free and has a huge variety of brain breaks that get you moving! Some of their videos are silly and students absolutely love them! I'll admit that the songs get stuck in my head too.  Hahaha...you'll see!

3. Help your students (and their parents) become familiar with the site and with the expectations of virtual learning.  There will be buttons for your students to click throughout the day and it would be beneficial to practice navigating.  It will boost independence in your students if they are able to navigate the site themselves and will help the day go smoother too.  

4. Class Rewards are always fun and within virtual learning, they may be different, but your students will still love them! You can have them earn points, virtual tokens, virtual gumballs, etc., and give the class "prizes" when they reach the goal.  Some virtual prizes can include having a virtual dance party, choose a story for you to read aloud or as a virtual story, choose a brain break video, no homework for the day, extra recess time, talk time, online game, et cetera.

5. VISUALS! I'm sure you've heard the saying, "'Visuals speak louder than words."  It's true.  Words can become redundant and students can "tune you out".  Using visuals can help you achieve the desired outcome, while limiting the verbal prompting.  Click here (or the picture below) to go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and get a visual pack that I created for both online and in-person teaching.

Here's a picture of what's included in the visual resource.


I hope this post helps you plan for your virtual instruction.  YOU can do it!  Your students are lucky to have you! I hope you have a GREAT year!









All About Me Freebie!



All About Me activities are a great way to start the year off with your students.  Students get the opportunity to share information and important details about themselves with you and their classmates and give you insight into their life.  It's a fun, yet important activity to get to know your students.  I always think it's fun for the teacher to do too!

I've created this FREE All About Me activity to help you get to know your students.  You can get your copy by clicking on the image and it will take you to my store to download it for free.  I have included both printable and digital versions in both color and black/white.  This way, even if you're teaching virtually, you have the option to use the activity with your students.  

I hope you enjoy the All About Me activity and have a super year!  Happy Back to School!  :)