10: Create a functional learning space for your child. Have supplies available, make sure all technology works, logins are saved and they know how to use it. Keep the area clutter-free and consider making an “Are you ready for class?” checklist to help maintain focus and foster confidence.
9: Create a routine and follow through. Your child’s routine doesn’t need to match a sibling’s or a friend’s. Make sure it meets the needs of the virtual course along with your child’s personality. Routines help create predictability so a child’s mind can focus on new learning, not constantly changing routines.
8: Reduce distractions. Get a comfy headset to eliminate ambient noises. Some kids need quiet, while others can’t focus if it is too quiet. Keep televisions, pets and other distractions away — either turn them off or design the learning space away from these.
7. Color-code your calendar! Visual cues like color speak 1000 words. Let your child help “design” the calendar for their buy-in. A calendar will be necessary to keep track of due dates and assignments.
6. Include exercise, fresh air and snack times. It is easy to get immersed in a project and forget to move around or eat. It will actually build focus! Intentionally find the best ways to add those in. Consider family work-outs to regroup and connect.
5. Use accessibility tools and features — assistive technologies like read-aloud or speech-to-text can help a frustrated student. Sometimes it is more about concept learning than the actual act of typing or reading. Devices as well as digital platforms often offer various assistive features.
4. Maintain communication with teachers — with students present and also without. Your child should see your open communication as an example for their own communications, but you also want to maintain a more private channel in case you need other ways to support your child.
3. Consider how to structure parental support. Do you need to be on-hand to trouble-shoot, or is that distracting? Do you need to provide small, predictable check-in times? Are you focused on teaching or helping? Do you need to be a grounding point and, at times, articulate how hard all this is? Find ways to motivate!
2. Include FUN! Does your child love being outside? Can they complete an assignment in the yard? Does your child love video games? How can you include fun during the day that gives your child a much-needed brain break along with something to look forward to as they navigate individualized learning.
1. Consider reaching out to us at Panache Academie, your local academic and STEAM enrichment center! We can support this virtual student life for your kiddos and make it easy for you. Check us out at panacheacademie.com.