As many of us head into a school year filled with many unknowns, it may feel like there is nothing you can to do to be prepared. While we don’t know exactly what things will look like, we do know one thing: our kids will need to be ready!
How to Prepare Your Child for Virtual Learning
This is what we do and I know that no matter how overwhelming it may feel, you’ve got this! You do know that parenting is your superpower, right?
The biggest mistake that parents are making right now is waiting to have ALL of the answers before they get started.
Hard truth: we are NOT going to have all the answers tomorrow, the day after or very possibly even by the first day of school. So, instead of waiting, here are 10 things you can do to prepare your child for virtual learning and the upcoming school year!
#1: Start Getting Your Daily Schedule Ready
Even though you probably don’t know exactly what the school schedule will look like, you can begin getting your daily schedule together. What time will wake up be? What time will meals be? Just getting that process started will help you be ready when you DO get the school schedule.
#2: Begin Working on Independence in All Areas of Learning
I say this a lot! Because it it SO important for both virtual learning AND for when our kids return to school. Anytime you are about to do something for your child ask yourself, “is this something they can do on their own?”
#3: Ensure Your Child is Comfortable Using the Computer Platforms Your School will Use
This was one of the biggest problems parents reported when schools shifted to virtual learning. The more comfortable your child is with the platforms that will be used, the less frustration you will have!
#4: Start Planning Non-Academic School-Related Activities to Break Up the Day
Children should not be sitting in front of a computer for 6 hours a day doing school work. Spend some time before school starts coming up with a list with your child of non-academic things they can do to help break up their day. (and schedule those in EVERY day)
#5: Consider the Balance
I know first hand how difficult it is having children at home all day and trying to manage “ALL of the things.” There are no easy answers, but waiting until the last minute will only make things worse! Start planning how you will organize your day so you can get to what you need and support your child in their learning.
#6: Get Familiar with the Virtual IEP Process
There is a very good chance that the majority of IEP’s will be virtual for the forseeable future. Make sure you are comfortable and familiar with the IEP process so that you can participate and be an active member on the team.
#7: Know Your Child’s IEP Goals and Get Organized
Now is a great time to be going over your child’s IEP goals and getting your materials organized so that when things start up you are ready to go. Just because kids may not have in-person school, it should be expected that schools continue to work on a students IEP goals. Let me know if I can help!
#8: Schedule IEPs and Assessments
You may have upcoming IEP’s at the start of the school year so just be on the look out for those invitations! Reminder… when we retune to school, every parent will have similar concerns as you and many will be requesting IEP’s. Teachers can only do so much, so patience will be important!! ☺
#9: Plan Your Communication with Your Child’s Teacher
Now is a perfect time to start planning what you want to talk to your child’s teacher about for the start of the year. Remember again- teachers will be overwhelmed with requests/concerns/information at the beginning of the year, so you may want to just 2-3 things to focus on. You are much more likely to get results that way!
#10: Remember that Everyone is Struggling
This is not an ideal situation for anyone; not teachers, not parents and certainly not students. Everyone is doing the best that they can in a very tough situation so take a breath, prioritize what is really important and reach out for support BEFORE you become overwhelmed!