How to prepare for remote school
Many schools are relying on remote school rather than opening their doors for an in-person teaching experience. This helps school districts avoid unwanted COVID-19 spread, but it also places a lot of burden on the parents. There is much you can do to prepare for remote school to ensure your child's success.
Set up a remote school area
Whether your child is fully remote or only remote for a few days per week (as with the hybrid option), they will need a dedicated learning space. This should include a table or desk, a computer, paper, pencils, internet, headphones, and anything else they are likely to need.
Ideal remote school areas are quiet and out of the way. Your child will need to concentrate, so keeping noise and distractions to a minimum will be important. Move pets out of the room when your child is learning. Offer headphones if you have more than one child in the same area.
It's easy for kids to get used to slouching in order to achieve the right height for their laptop screen. They may bend their neck if they are on a phone or tablet. These habits are examples of poor ergonomics, and there is a lot you can do to prevent this and avoid injury.
Make sure your child's screen is leveled to the right height. You can use stacked books or a laptop stand. Peripherals, such as a mouse or a keyboard, can be added to make your child's workstation more comfortable and easier to operate. Also, remember to have your child take screen breaks to rest their eyes. Eye strain can be painful, causing headaches and blurry vision.
Take a mental inventory of the steps your child has to take in order to attend school remotely. Logins, email, Google classrooms, and school pages might be a part of their routine. Consider how you can streamline these steps. Can you change a password to make it easy for your child to remember? Can you bookmark frequently used pages?
The easier you make this process, the faster your child will be able to work independently through remote school.
Create a routine
It is likely your child's teacher will have set times for live instruction, but it is unlikely this will last all day. That means it is up to you to set a daily routine for your child.
Routines offer a lot of security for kids. They feel comforted when they can predict what will happen in their day. You can build the routine around meals and live instruction times. Fill in the gaps with specified activities, such as time at the park, art, homework, or free time.
Write out the schedule in advance so there are no surprises.
It's okay to ask for help when you need it. This is an overwhelming situation for many families, especially when you are trying to work from home and help your child with school.
Family, neighbors, and friends are all good resources. But, if you don't have anyone who can help you out, use technology to make your life easier. Set timers or alarms to alert you to live instruction times. Communicate with your employer that you might need to work during off-hours instead of a normal 9-5.
Also, check with your city about local resources being offered. There may be financial assistance toward needed technology, free tutoring, or free counseling. Many cities are creating parenting support groups as well.
Most parents will have to go through the process of remote school with their child at some point this school year. It's better to be prepared in advance for that situation. Just remember that you aren't alone.