How to Support Your Child Through Virtual Learning
- Create a comfortable space or designated spaces away from distractions.
- Create a schedule for the day, incorporating the schedule provided from the teacher, and post it somewhere your child can easily see it. Predictability is safety and comfort for children. Be sure to include time for snack breaks, physical movement and good old fashioned (no screens) play time.
- Set reasonable bed times and wake up times. (Kids this age need between 9-12 hours of sleep.) We have all been staying up late, but sticking to a specific bedtime and creating a calming routine (warm bath, story time, etc.) before bed will help them ease back into reasonable sleeping hours.
- Wake them up and feed them breakfast leaving them plenty of time to be alert and ready to start the school day.
- Save video games for after school. While kids will need breaks throughout the day, those breaks need to be away from the screen. (That, and trying to drag a kid off of their favorite game to go back to school work can get pretty ugly.)
- Make sure they stay hydrated and provide healthy (healthy!!) snacks throughout the day. Thirsty and hungry brains don’t function very well. And be sure to keep any open containers away from laptops and iPads!! Having a closed water bottle nearby would be the best option.
- Allow some time for socializing at some point during the day. Staying connected with friends is so very important for their well-being. Apps like “Kids Messenger” allow kids to video chat, send texts etc while keeping parents informed, and parents control who their child is connecting with.
- Be patient!! This transition to online learning is hard on everyone, and we are all trying to figure it out as we go along. Kids are going to become frustrated and overwhelmed. (And unless you are superhuman, you are going to become frustrated and overwhelmed…) Assure them this is normal, acknowledge how they are feeling, acknowledge your feelings, and try to brainstorm together what you can do as a family to make things easier.
- Reach out to your child’s teacher if your child is struggling. Being online, the teacher may not be able to pick up on your child’s struggles as they would in the classroom. Many children are also uncomfortable asking questions or asking for help during a whole class meeting, and then are left not knowing what to do. The teacher cannot help if they do not know something is wrong.
- If your child continues to struggle or if there are other outside factors preventing your child from flourishing, reach out to your school counselor or social worker for help. Even if they are not the correct resource, they will make sure you are connected to the help you need.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND CAN GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER!!