With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more students than ever before are learning virtually, so many parents have taken a more involved role with their students education. In recognition of National Parents as Teachers Day (Nov. 8, 2020), Florida Virtual School (FLVS®) celebrates these parents and their partnership with FLVS teachers by sharing their tips to help families adjusting to online education make their education journey a success.
Whether parents are homeschooling or facilitating their child’s remote learning experience, they’re often in uncharted territory. Long-time FLVS parents have been there and offer these tips:
- Be flexible: Parents know their kids best. If they are having a bad day or a hard time focusing, close the computer, let them go for a walk, jump in the pool, get exercise. Come back two hours later (if early in the day) or just remember: tomorrow is another day.
- Stay organized: Organizing everything from schedule to color-coded subjects and supplies makes virtual learning easier to manage for both parents and students. Create folders and sub-folders for different students and different subjects.
- Incorporate breaks between subjects or large blocks of material: Use the Pomodoro Technique by getting a timer and committing to just a short amount of work or study time. Sectioning learning into manageable time periods with frequent breaks helps retention.
- Print weekly pace charts: Pace charts are great motivators. Students love to see how much they have accomplished.
- Use a visual space to show assignments: Write assignments and goals on a calendar, planner or white board where students can check off completed tasks. This is another way for students to feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Try a block schedule: Some FLVS families use a block schedule where they tackle one or two subjects on a set day. For example: Monday (Math/Elective), Tuesday (Language Arts), Wednesday (Science/Elective), Thursday (History).
- Plan ahead: Of course some things come up at the last minute, but try to have a plan for schedules, assignments and interactive learning experiences. Preview the first module in each class to get a sense of how long each lesson and assignment will take.
- Prioritize: Focus on the assignments and assessments to be graded, and use the extra resources as needed.
Reach out for help: As one FLVS Full Time parent said, “I am not the teacher. I’m more like a mix of intern, emotional support, and grumpy IT guy. The FLVS teachers can tell when the kids are stalled and call them before I ever figure that out.”