As we learn about fall plans for our school districts, it is becoming evident that many of our children will be e-learning for at least some portion of their school week. In the spring, we did the best we could on short notice; many of us juggling working from home with the needs of our kids. This time around, we’ll have a little time to prepare. Here are my suggestions for creating a little more structure and a little less chaos around e-learning:
Get up and get ready for school (as if you’re physically going): In the spring, I would find my kids laying in bed while on Zoom calls. They would emerge from their rooms for lunch (and sometimes dinner) still in their pajamas. Our plan this fall is to follow our morning routine, as if we are going to school. Creating a distinction between a school day and non-school day, simply by getting up, getting dressed and moving to a different space in our home, can help our children “show up” for e-learning.
Designate an E-Learning Space for Each Child: In what type of environment does your child learn best? Many need to be sitting upright in a chair with a desk or table in front of them. Other kids are better able to focus when they’re able to stand or move around their space. Spend some time helping your child think about their learning style. They may want to create and test a few learning environments. If children are involved in setting up their own designated space for e-learning, with all the tools and supplies they need, it will help motivate them for this unique learning situation.
Define Options for Breaks: At any age, we need small breaks to keep us going throughout the day. Helping your child come up with some options ahead of time will make their e-learning day feel less overwhelming. Walking the dog, doing jumping jacks, stepping outside; anything that motivates and inspires your child!
Follow a Routine: In this unpredictable time, enabling some predictability in your child’s day will set them up for success. Older kids can jot their schedule down in a notebook or planner. Elementary aged kids often enjoy large visuals like chalkboards or white boards. Our preschoolers can use pictures to create their daily plan. Checking things off the list gives us a sense of control (and feeling of accomplishment).
Give Yourself a Break: Remind your kids (and yourself) that e-learning is new to us and we’re still in the test and learn phase. If something isn’t working, don’t beat yourself up. We’re all going to have days when it just doesn’t work the way we had envisioned. That said, try to also give yourself credit for the days when it does go well!
If your child needs additional support this school year please reach out. TherapyWorks provides pediatric speech, occupational, physical therapies and social work via teletherapy. We would love to help support your child. Schedule a free phone consultation or click the button below to complete a short survey about your child (with the option to check your insurance coverage for services).