Tuesday, August 18, 2020

(Virtual) Back to School Tips!

Ok, it is literally the 11th hour over here before my oldest child starts school.  I am so excited.  I loved school.  I would not say excited describes how he is feeling lol!  This is such a strange and stressful time for many families, and school looks so different right now.  I have so much more to share, but thought I would start with this quick post of  5 things that are helping me plan and adjust to this virtual schooling for my 2 kids while my husband and I work full time from home.  This may not work for every situation, but hopefully some of these tips can help ease the transition.

1)  Print Schedules - In addition to printing the schedule our school gave us, I create a Google calendar for each child and print that out every Sunday for the following week.  Each child gets one and we post in a shared family area as well.  We include activities, important due dates etc.  We also utilize reminders on our Amazon Echo to alert when class times are.  

2)  Lunch Planning/Prepping:  Pack, prep or plan lunches just as if it's regular school.  I am having my kids fix and plan their own lunches.  They now have some basic cooking skills too which is helping a ton!  I plan my own lunches for the week too.  

3)  Prep the Computer:  Make sure the computer your child is working on has a clear desktop.  If more than 1 family member works on the computer, set up a profile for your child so they can have a customized desktop.  Save bookmarks for their school learning platform, teachers Zoom links, and any other links they will need to use.  Teach your kids how to access or even create those bookmarks.  You may also want to create a shortcut to their calendar on the desktop.  Set a reminder to clean, or better yet have your child clean their keyboard and screen on a regular basis.  

4)  Supplies:  Only keep supplies that are absolutely necessary for the day/week on their desk.  Store away all other supplies that are not needed.  

5)  Have fun!:  Plan some ways to surprise and encourage your kids (and you!!) while at home.  Ice cream sundaes one afternoon, a fun waffle breakfast bar (even if just frozen waffles with sprinkles and whipped cream), impromptu dance party during a virtual recess, adding their decorations on the Christmas Tree in September (yes, I am putting the tree up very early this year!). . . ask yourself, what does my family enjoy?  I find it helpful to plan these things on the weekend for the following week as well.  

Most of all, embrace the fact that everything is so different and hard right now.  If we let ourselves be sucked into negativity, our kids will see it.  Even the littlest steps of planning ahead and being positive and encouraging to each other can be so powerful!