Online learning has many parents stressed to the max, but we’ve got 3 weird tips that can actually make it easier. Thanks to COVID-19 millions of kids around the country are attending school from home. That means parents have to do double-duty as parents and educators. In some cases, triple-duty, because they’re working from home, too.
And let’s face it, most houses aren’t designed with a separate schoolroom area. If you have several kids, all working at different grade levels, things can get chaotic, fast. There are tons of articles with tips for virtual schooling but today, we’ve got some offbeat ideas you probably haven’t heard before. Ready for our 3 weird tips for online learning? Then, let’s go.
Get In The Closet (or Under The Table)
Is space tight in your home? Do you have more than one student all trying to work in the same area? Things can get loud and chaotic in a hurry. That makes it really hard for kids (and you) to concentrate.
Try carving out some private space for each student. It can be as simple as opening a closet door. Or maybe you have a half-bath. Move some stuff around in that tiny space to fix up a spot for your child to sit. Run an extension cord to plug in their laptop. Clip a light to a shelf if necessary. If they have to sit on the floor, it’s not a big deal.
Bedrooms can work well, too. It may not be the ideal place for schooling but it can work, even if you don’t have a desk. However, make sure your child doesn’t do school work on their bed. Make a definite distinction between sleep time and class time. If there’s no desk, put some pillows on the floor. But keep the learning space separate.
Another unused space to consider — under the table. It’s a great spot for small kids offering them a space of their own. Put down foam mats to make it comfortable.
Bags and Boxes
Boxes or bags filled with small age-appropriate distractions are a great way to calm down younger and special-needs students when they get over-excited. It’s also a great way to keep siblings who are too young for school busy while you attend to the needs of the student.
If your child gets fidgety during video classes give them something to hold on their lap. (Keep out of camera view so other students don’t get distracted.) Slap bracelets, stress balls, and fidget toys can all help children work off nervous energy and focus better in a virtual class.
Stock up on inexpensive toys, books, and puzzles for little kids. Make sure to plan several quiet activities during school time to keep little ones from distracting their siblings. Those quiet activities include parents as well. Silence your cell phone and the house phone. Turn off the TV.
Move Stuff Around
It’s important to differentiate between class time and home time. When kids have to take classes in their living space, it’s a little harder to draw the distinction. One easy way is just to move the furniture around.
Have the dining room table up against a wall when class is in session and move it back to the center of the room when class time is over. Try to clear all of the school equipment out of the way when the class is finished.
Flip chairs around so they’re facing a different direction. Consider some rollaway carts to hold school supplies and electronics that can be rolled on off into a pantry or closet when the school day is done.
Clear visual cues that it’s time for school to start can help kids understand that it’s time to get to work. Clear cues that the school day is over can also help parents wind down.