10 Tips for Navigating Virtual Learning

Middle school girl participating in virtual learning at home

Routines help children (and adults) know what to expect, creating a sense of comfort and security. Instead of setting a strict schedule, try to follow some simple routines, such as waking up and having lunch at the same times each day.

If possible, set up a quiet, comfortable space in your home for learning. Ideally, the space has limited distractions and is not in an area where the family plays or watches TV. If your child’s learning space is in a common area, consider providing them with a box or crate to keep all of their school stuff together. That way, they can put everything away at the end of the day and pull it out in the morning.

Online learning is a lot less structured than a normal school day. Children of all ages may need help staying organized, staying on task and completing assignments. Encourage your child to create a calendar and to-do lists.

Encourage your child to drink water, eat 3 balanced meals and eat 2 to 3 healthy snacks throughout the day. Fueling their body with healthy foods and water will make it easier for them to stay engaged and focus on their schoolwork.

It can be challenging for kids to focus for long periods of time. Help your child reset and refocus by setting alarms throughout the day to:

  • Close their eyes for a minute.
  • Listen to a favorite song.
  • Get outside for some fresh air.
  • Do a few jumping jacks.

Let the teacher know if you sense your younger child may need some extra support. Encourage older kids to take initiative by getting in contact with teachers on their own. Even though teachers may be busy, they are still there to help.

Encourage your child to stay virtually connected to friends through video chat so they can maintain close connection and friendships. For younger kids, work with other parents to plan video-chat playdates.

Find time to check in with other parents, support each other and share ideas about what is working well.

It can be difficult to find joy in times of stress, but laughter can improve your mood, relieve stress and help your body relax. Make time for fun every day and enjoy the time you have together.

Expecting everything to go perfectly can lead to feeling discouraged and disappointed. As best you can, try to be flexible and willing to adjust when necessary, and be patient with both your child and yourself.