Back-to-Virtual-School Home Organization
Summer has flown by and now it’s time to return to the land of rules and routines. This transition doesn’t have to be fraught with despair if you take advantage of these easy organizational tips. Make starting the new school year a whole lot easier.
For many families, this will be their first experience having their child attend school virtually – but even parents with experience can use some fresh ideas to start the new school year. Here are proven tips from teachers and parents of virtual school students to help your child get ready!
Get plenty of rest and start going to bed earlier the week before school starts. Practice waking up to an alarm for those who need it. Students who get enough sleep have fresher minds for retaining information and focusing throughout the day.
Have a designated area for school work
This is probably one of the most important things many of us need in order to be successful at our jobs every day. For students, having a designated area means fewer distractions and getting into a “school mindset” when in that area. This can be a spare room or even a corner in a room; the important thing is to use that area only for school. Other considerations:
Make sure this area is quiet or has a door that can be closed. This gives students privacy when they’re working, talking to their teachers, tutoring, or taking an exam.
Allow space for a desk or table but incorporate flexible seating. This can be a cozy spot for reading or a change of pace during the school day. Beanbags, hammock chairs, shaggy rugs, and oversize pillows can help a student relax and take a break when reading, drawing, or using a device between classes or after a lengthy exam.
Promote your student’s health. Ensure there is enough light for reading and taking notes. The monitor should be at eye level and the student’s chair must be comfortable and offer back support.
Stock this area with school supplies. Include pens, pencils, markers, paper, notebooks, and any other tools your student may need besides the computer.
Ensure you have the appropriate equipment
Some students think they can complete all their coursework from their smartphones, but this will not give the student the best experience. This isn’t to say you can’t use your smartphone occasionally (if you need to complete something on the go). But the best way to experience virtual school is on a desktop or laptop or tablet where you can view lessons full screen. You’ll also need storage to save backup copies of your work.
Create a set schedule with breaks built in
You should think of your student’s schedule just like the bell schedule at a brick-and-mortar school. When the bell rings in a school, students automatically get up, pick up their books, and head on to their next class, right? You should plan your virtual school day the same way. Respect the schedule, and if needed, allow for an additional “period” at the end of the day to finish up any pending assignments. If your student completes all their work in the allotted time, this end-of-the-day period can be study time to get ahead in a class or work on a long-term project. Customize the schedule so that your student has more time for courses that take a bit longer to complete and less time for those courses they can complete faster.
Get ready to enjoy the flexibility
If you help your child stay organized through the school year, you will be able to better enjoy the flexibility of virtual school. Occasionally visit your local library to study and enjoy the many resources libraries have to offer. Encourage your student to take time to play outside, make arts and crafts, video chat with a friend or relative, or watch that new superhero movie during the afternoon.
Have fun with your student and remember to keep them motivated by providing incentives for reaching their weekly goals. Have a great virtual school year!