The new school year is upon us and this may mean different things for parents across the country. Depending on where you live and the current statistics of COVID in your area, you probably know by now whether your children will be returning to an in-person school year or virtual.
For those whose children will be learning virtually, the balance between work, school, and home life merges into one. So how exactly do you manage it as a parent? Here are some tips to make it a bit easier:
- Pandemic Pod or Micro-schooling – For parents who aren’t able to be at home with their children while they’re schooled, consider joining with other parents to take turns on home school days. The benefit is that all the burden isn’t on the parent to work and teach every day. In addition, kids get to spend time with small groups of friends.
- Make a Daily Schedule – Put the schedule up on a whiteboard that the child can refer back to throughout the day. Getting them on a schedule that they can manage independently is key to making this work!
- Reward Kids – Virtual schooling is hard on everyone involved, but especially for small children who may have a hard time sitting in front of a computer to learn all day long. Keep your kids motivated by rewarding them for trying! Sticker charts, pretend money to “buy” a prize and more are all fun ways to reward.
- Set up a quiet workspace – making sure there are no distracting toys, TVs or activities. Having a separate space also gives the child a place to “go” to school and to leave behind for the day.
- Mimic “real” school activities – when it’s time for lunch, take the lunch break with your child. When they’re done eating, send them outside for recess. Give them opportunities to move and get some fresh air, just like they would at school.
If you’re a college student you may be in the same boat as grades K-12, with virtual learning being the main objective this fall. Here are some tips to stay focused when not in the classroom.
- Where to Study – Find a quiet place to work that has Wi-Fi. This may prove difficult if you live in a dorm or with a lot of roommates. Talk to you school about potential places to study that may incorporate social distancing.
- Keep a Regular Schedule – When you don’t have to physically go to class it may be tempting to brush studies aside for fun, but this may cause more stress in the end. Try to act as if this is a regular school year to help stay on track, not get distracted, or fall behind.
- How to Get a New Computer – Since you’ll be doing most of your learning online, it’s imperative to have a computer that you can depend on. If you need a new computer, check out Apple or other computer stores for refurbished (like new) computers that have discounted significantly. Plus many stores provide payment plans for new computers.