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10 Tips for Virtual School Success

With school being more different than ever before, here are a few tips to help your child be successful and have a positive experience with virtual learning.

1. Keep a Routine

Children’s brains learn by picking up on patterns. Having a set routine helps your child get into a rhythm of the day and makes transitions easier for both of you. Creating a visual schedule will allow your child to follow along throughout the day to further reinforce the routine. The schedule can be as simple as drawing pictures of the activities and using a paper clip to move through the activities throughout the day.

2. Take Breaks

It is important to recognize that your child can only focus for a limited time no matter how hard they are trying. Allow your child to have mental breaks to avoid frustration breakdowns.

While breaks are important for your child, remember it is also important for you to take a break as well. Assisting with virtual learning on top of parenting is a lot to take on. Be sure to schedule extra self-care, so you can provide the best support for your child’s needs.

Check out this article on how mindfulness can help you when parenting:

3. Designate an Area

Have a special area designated specifically for learning activities that is free of distractions. A designated learning space will help your child get into the right mindset to learn. Check out this video for a simple idea on how to create a distraction free area:

4. Check-Ins

Allow your child to work on their own, with small check-ins to see how they are doing. Allowing them to work on their own encourages your child to build independence, while quick check-ins help your child feel supported and keeps them on task. Check-ins can also include a quick check of how your child is feeling that day. Helping your child identify and process his/her feelings will not only build social-emotional development, but also help your child center themselves emotionally before beginning activities.

5. Encourage Working

Some children need external motivation to help keep them focused and working. Use a reward system (”I am working for…”) chart to help motivate your child to work towards a certain goal. You can also set a timer that your child can see to help them focus and provide a rewarding activity for making it through the time.

Reward system chart - 5. Encouraging Working
6. Have a Calm-Down Area

As important as it is to have a designated learning space, having a calm-down area can also help! A calm down area with sensory items can help your child calm down, and is a great tool to reset after big emotional moments. Grab a pillow, a blanket and turn any corner into a cozy calm down nook with a teddy bear or other fidget items to help build emotional regulation skills.

7. Keep Moving

Physical activity gets oxygen to the brain and helps build focus. Encourage quick movement breaks to help your child focus and stay on track throughout long days of learning.

8. Have Set Rules & Review Them

Write out 3-5 specific rules of what you expect from your child and post them for your child. Each time you begin an activity, review these rules with your child to reinforce what it is you expect of him/her during this time.

9. Manage Your Expectations

Have realistic expectations for your child to focus. The typical child can focus for a maximum of 3-5 minutes per year of age.

10. Praise Your Child’s Small Successes

Children require lots of praise to build confidence and excitement around learning. Praise your child for small successes throughout the day to help them feel good about their learning.