Whether you call it remote learning or virtual school, it is challenging, especially when you have more than one child. If you have two or more children working on different assignments at different times, check out these tips to keep you all on track.
In the spring, my four kids in four different classes were all trying to do their school at the same time with three of them in the same room. Over the din of live zooms and pre-recorded lessons, I spent most of my time running from computer to computer helping my kids print worksheets or remember their password. It was chaos! We learned what did not work in the spring so we are going to try things a little differently this year. Here are my remote learning tips:
If possible, separate children to different areas of your home, at least for any zooms or live instruction. That way, if they need to speak to their teachers, they won’t disturb their siblings. If you can’t physically separate their workspaces, then consider using privacy screens to keep your kids focused on their own work. You can buy them here or you can make your own using a presentation board.
Invest in Headphones for Remote Learning
Learning remotely involves lots of time watching pre-recorded lessons or participating in a live virtual classroom. Invest in a good pair of headphones or earbuds with a microphone for each child. Then, they’ll be able to listen to their lessons without bothering their siblings with background noise. The microphone is important if your child will be participating in live online instruction.
Set Them Up to Be Independent
Last year, I spent lots and lots of time dealing with technology issues during remote learning. This year, my plan is to help them learn to deal with some of those issues on their own, so they can work more independently. Then, I’ll be able to use that time to help with schoolwork, instead of just writing down passwords over and over again. Here’s what I suggest: Post all-important reference information where the kids can access it easily. This includes passwords, links, directions for printing, submitting assignments, and their schedule. Give your older kids as much information as they need to be independent, so you will have time to help the younger kids.
Encourage Siblings to Help Each Other
Being stuck in the house and stuck with each other can cause sibling tensions to grow and can lead to more bickering and arguing. Set a tone of teamwork for your kids during this remote learning experience. Set up a time when older children will check-in and offer help to the younger ones. Have the younger siblings draw pictures and write encouraging notes to their big brothers and sisters.
Add some breaks into your remote learning schedule. Avoid screen burn out by encouraging regular breaks for outside time every day. If you recognize your children need some time on their own, away from siblings, then allow them that space and time. This goes for you too, parents! Managing multiple kids with their individual learning is challenging. Make sure you take some breaks as well for your own sanity!
Set your children up to work independently as much as possible, help them when you can, schedule breaks for you and your kids, and give yourself and your kids some grace when the school day doesn’t go as planned. Remember, lots of kids will be doing virtual school this year, so we’re all in the same boat-just doing the best we can. Hopefully these remote learning tips will help to make your year a success!