My kids are in the middle of week two of virtual school as I write this blog. It has been a crazy ride so far, but things are settling down. I thought I would share some virtual school tips that have helped our kiddos over the last few days. I am no way an expert or do I have all the answers. However, I have spent some time already in the trenches and hope what I say can help you. (Remember everyone’s virtual school, depending on district, may look different.)
My number one tip is to give yourself grace, your kids grace, and your school staff grace. This is new to everyone! Everyone is stressed, exhausted, and honestly, we are all confused. We have all had to pivot and quickly learn a new way to do school. So, when things are chaotic and stressful, take a deep breath and know it is okay. If something does not go well that day or at that time, it is okay. It really is okay! Be kind to your kids – they are struggling too. Be kind to your school staff – they are exhausted and trying their best. Grace needs to be sprinkled out on everyone.
Communicate With Teachers
Communication is key. Teachers are learning as they go, just like we are right now. If you are having issues with assignments, technology etc., tell them. Ask the teachers what their best mode of communication is and then use it. Most of the time you are probably not the only one having a struggle and then the teacher can help address what needs to be addressed for everyone. Just please be kind in how you communicate with the teachers and staff. They are doing the best they can in an extremely hard time. They want to help and are there to help, just remember they are people too.
Set Up Work Spaces
Set up a system and space for your kids to learn. This will look different for every family and honestly every child. We decided that having mine work at the kitchen table together all day long would not work. So, we found spaces for a desk for each of my children. Each desk has computer charger, lamp, supplies and a few personal touches they wanted. It helps that all supplies go back in the desk daily so we know where their folders, notebooks etc. are. I do allow them to move around the house when they need to if they are tired of their desk. They have a lap desk that hold the computer to sit on the couch, they sit at the table to work while I make lunch, and occasionally they like to sit on their beds and lean on the wall. Be flexible, but having a system in place to keep organized will really cut down on the stress.
Build Your Tribe
Lastly, I recommend building a tribe. What does this mean? Well for me, it is my support network to help me when I need a question answered or a moment to vent. Right now, with COVID, it is not really a network I see in person as much as I can reach out through technology. I can text a SOS when I need help understanding this assignment; I can send a Marco Polo message to a friend to vent when Teams locked us out again; or I can make a call to cry in the closet after a hard day. Find your tribe – your people, your fellow school moms, or whoever makes you smile – and reach out to them. We are all feeling alone right now, but we do not have to be.