Schools in many places are having to look at the COVID numbers and the community spread before offering any in-person instruction right now. As bad as many teachers, students, and parents want things to go back to normal before COVID, it’s been hard to do that. Superintendents are making some of the hardest decisions as they know that most students learn best when at school and in front of their teacher, but for now, many districts will be turning to virtual learning.
With the school year here in the Atlanta area (and other areas too!) taking a turn toward virtual learning this school year, it’s important to be ready for the changes. Originally, school districts in Georgia and other states were going to offer parents a choice between in-person and virtual to start the 2020-2021 school year but in some places like Atlanta, public health guidance is not making that possible (Walker & Brasch, 2020). We want to be able to help all the parents out there that are trying to figure out all of this by bringing you some tips from an actual Georgia schoolteacher on how parents/caregivers can collaborate with teachers for an effective learning outcome.
We had the privilege to interview GA schoolteacher; Mrs. Smith from Appling County. In March, when schools started closing, Mrs. Smith took her students online while using Google classrooms. She was able to be there for them and help them get through the semester. She shares her perspective on how parents and caregivers can partner with teachers for an effective virtual learning experience.
Here are her top 6 tips for a positive experience with virtual learning:
Keep a routine for your children and set clear expectations. Children strive better on a routine when it comes to schooling. It is important that a child learning from home is not too relaxed and not get to assignments. Morning time is typically the most productive time for children. Therefore, keeping a morning routine around their virtual learning assignments will be helpful.
I recommend having a place where the child can work without any distractions. Having a desk, table, or some type of hard surface is helpful as it mimics a desk at school and has the child alert and less distracted. Tv’s, tablets, phones, other siblings, etc. can make it tricky for the student to stay focused if these are around him or her.
Checking Over Work
One way to make sure things are going as planned is to go behind the student daily to make sure all assignments are completed. This helps the student stay on task and not get behind. Once behind, it can be harder to catch up and understand the new material.
Take Short Breaks
If your child is getting frustrated with an assignment or something, have the child take a short break. A break can help get the frustration off. The child can come back to the assignment later when less worked up and able to clearly think again.
Find creative ways to get assignments completed. I recommend going online to get some other ideas. Young kids may need some creative activities to help them understand subjects like Math. Use candies to add and subtract, take Legos and do an activity, etc. I’d say get creative, even if you are cooking dinner and you want to incorporate some math, do it and have fun with it!
Last but certainly not least, make sure you are communicating with the teacher and letting them know if your child needs extra help. Many teachers are offering live office hours. If your child is not understanding or is falling behind, be sure to communicate that information to the teacher. Also, if your child’s district is utilizing Google classrooms, there is Google meets for them as well. Definitely check on the virtual meeting rooms available for your child to be in a group setting teaching environment if that’s offered or extra 1:1 help.
These tips can help your child have an effective virtual learning experience.
Virtual learning can be tricky especially for working parents. Did you know that you could hire someone like a private educator or nanny to come to your home and help guide your child or children through their virtual learning with the support and care they need? Many families are now turning to this option as they have to be at work and need help with their children’s studies online.
Here at Signet Nannies, we want you to know that we are here to help through this unique time. We offer resourceful nannies who can shepherd your child or children so you are able to focus on your work and career whether that’s at home or in the office. We’d love to talk with you more to see if this is an option for your family. You can see all of our contact information here and reach out at your convenience.
We wish you and your family the very best during this school year. Health and safety to you!