How to Overcome the Virtual Blues with your Kids?
First of all, I feel your pain with the virtual classes for my children. I was frustrated with the poor laptops or the lack of technical assistance promised by their school. I was waking up in the middle of the night seeing my kids in their rooms working on homework that was due two weeks ago. ARGH!!!! My son in high school needing extra help with being organization and work scattered all over his bedroom floor. My daughter in middle school needing attention from me because she is thriving online class. Honestly, my heart goes out to the parents that have younger children doing virtual classes remotely from home. I have heard so many stories from single parents, whom struggle reviewing their children's school work online. The online platforms are not very user friendly for adults....let alone "our children". For awhile, I thought about running away and checking myself into Spa Retreat for the rest of the school year! Until, I see the frustration and disgusted look on my son's face when he has to retake a test over due to a glitch online. I'd figured I take a step back an outweigh the pros and cons of this online nightmare.
I made a list of what was important for me and my children. I came up with outcome that pros outweighed the cons. Next, I made another list of problems and solutions with my children's input.
My son's issues was the following:
1) Glitches in the middle of tests and/or assignments.
2) Slow and outdated technology (1990's laptop) provided by the school.
3) Completing assignments on his cellphone.
4) Distractions (long snack & lunch breaks, etc.)
5) Lack or NO organization & time management in work
6) Lack of communication with teachers at school
7) Online platforms that is not user friendly.
My daughter's issues was the following:
1) Lack of interest in Zoom meetings
2) Needing more attention from mommy
3) Distractions (bugging her brother and long snack breaks)
4) Completing assignments on her cellphone
5) Lounging in her bed doing school work
I reviewed some of the issues that affected my family and came up with solutions to these problems. We were overwhelmed and disorganized. Yes! I admit it! I was not confident and I did not have all the answers to helping my children be successful online. I believed that I was NOT a BAD parent because I did not have all the answers. I just needed to seek out the people that would help me solve the issues. I found that the lack of communication was not all one-sided. I missed emails about tutorials for the online platforms because I was busy working. I depended on my kids to keep me updated with their school events. I quickly found out that was HUGE MISTAKE!!
Finding the Solutions
1) Take the time to communicate with your children about their frustrations and issues.
2) Create a quick list of issues.
3) Seek someone from the school that is willing to help you solve your list of issues.
4) Keep the lines of communication open! Contact your children's teachers at twice a week and make them aware of any issues or problems that needs their attention, including if they are behind on their assignments. Believe teachers are there to help guide you through these difficult times.
5) Get a day planner for the entire family. Make your kids accountable for writing down their assignments each day and providing description of work.
6) Have your children or you write down all the contact info from each teacher and I.T. department.
7) Run your house like a school. This means keep a school schedule of breaks and lunch times on the fridge. Keep a routine and stick to it!
8) If your child do NOT have the right technology seek help from the school administration. There are resources in your community that can provide you help.
9) Take frequent breaks and talk with your children.
10) Change the scenery in their room by providing Wall Stickers and bright color curtains or posters.
11) Listen to soothing music with your kids
12) Go outside and get fresh air with your children (take a walk). This will help bring your stress down.
13) Make lunches and dinner over the weekend
14) Each week (or daily) review your children's grades online so there are NO surprises!
15) If you see a problem then immediately address the issue rather from your child and/or staff
16) Be consistent!
17) Reevaluate you child's progress each week/month to see if the routine needs to be changed.
18) Set-up electronic alerts! Get alerts to see Progress Reports daily or weekly.
I found these solutions to be very helpful to me because each child is different. I have a child that struggles with focusing and one child does not. There are ways to keep your children engaged with their work. If you have some great tips or ideas that you would like to share....please comment. Good Luck!