How To Balance Virtual Lessons at Home

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By News Team on August 19, 2020

If you’re not a seasoned homeschooling parent, you’re probably overwhelmed with the idea of distance learning for your kids, whether you chose this route or not. The good news is—you’re not alone.

Even though you’ll be the lead teacher at home, it’s important to include your kids in the conversations and decisions for how their school days will look. Giving them a say in this new way of learning can help them feel more invested.  

Brooks Michael, a Carilion adolescent health educator, offers the following tips to successfully navigate distance learning:

Maintain Good Sleep Habits
Keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-age children need 9-11 hours of sleep, and teenagers need 8-10 hours.

Establish a Schedule
Set a start time and end time for the school day. If you’re a caregiver who is also working from home, designate your busiest working hours for independent reading or for subjects that your child has an easier time working through on their own.

Designate a Workspace
Set up a learning area that is quiet and away from distractions. Organize and keep all school materials within reach and make sure that your child’s desk and chair are set up to properly support them.

Find Ways to Manage Anxiety and Stress
Kids need to get the wiggles out, so make sure to take breaks for stretching, playing outside and going on walks. Make time to talk to them about how they're feeling.

Balance Screen Time
Set guidelines for when your kids are allowed to use their personal devices (i.e., not until all schoolwork is done), and designate screen-free times during family dinner and at bedtime. Keep the computer in a common area and research any games or apps before downloading them for your kids.

Stay Connected
Set up video calls with family and friends so that your child can keep that sense of community. Scheduling virtual reading times for younger kids to read to another family member and letting teens check-in with their friends is a great way to help them stay connected.

Be Flexible
New routines and habits take time to establish. Give yourself (and your family) some grace if the first few weeks are rocky and adjust your routines as needed. The important thing to remember is that one size does not fit all—what works best for others may not work best for your family—and that's OK! Learning styles vary from child to child, so giving yourself time to figure out what works best for each individual is key.

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