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Virtual Learning: When the Parent Becomes the Teacher

July 02, 2020

Here’s how to tackle your new role from home.


Even without an office job, every parent has more than just one title on their resume. They’re master chefs, expert storytellers and dedicated chauffeurs who work around the clock to care for their children. Thanks to the coronavirus, they now have another name to add to the already long list—teacher. While many are working jobs of their own, they now must balance educating their children with fulfilling the duties of their own career. Here are some of our best tips for making this new transition a little bit easier.


Designate a School Space


Just like remote employees have a workstation, kids need their own designated school space to attend classes and complete assignments. To help them stay focused, it’s important to choose an area that’s free of distractions, especially electronics that aren’t needed for classwork. You should also be sure this isn’t a room where they usually play or relax, as they may be tempted to step away from their work during the day. A well-lit room can help boost attention, so pick a space that’s near windows or has abundant lighting. 


From the chair to the desk, make sure your child’s space is comfortable but encourages productivity. Don’t neglect the power of a strong wifi connection, either. While teachers are likely to be understanding during this time, poor video quality or trouble loading assignments and videos may be distracting for your child. As they first begin to adapt to this new way of learning, make sure their workstation is close to yours so you can check on them throughout the day.


Create a Weekday Routine


When possible, keep your child’s routine consistent with how it was prior to bringing school into the home. Include snack breaks and recess in their weekday schedules. Start and end the school day at the same time, stick to their usual bedtime and schedule something fun with the whole family. Think neighborhood walks, game nights or simply playing catch in the backyard. Maintaining routines can help kids better adjust to their new normal while also keeping them on track to return to school.


Encourage Socialization


Communicating with teachers and other students is important for connecting kids to their community and developing their social skills. Allow them to chat with friends after school, ask questions on education forums and reach out to teachers for help. As the world continues to become more digital, this is also a great opportunity to teach them safe online behavior. 




It’s likely that these educational platforms are new to you, too. Take some time to peruse the applications before handing over your devices. This way if your child has a question about how to post to a class forum or submit homework, you can be prepared to help.


From workspaces to routines, just a few small changes can make a world of difference in your child’s at-home learning experience. As you all begin to adjust to this new way of schooling, just remember that this is new to everyone—parents, teachers and students alike.




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