“It’s been so long, since I’ve seen your face.” – me singing longingly at the yellow school bus.
We are a few weeks into remote learning. WOOF. It sure has been a ride. Anyone else feeling drained? Going into the year of unknowns with this school year, I really didn’t know what to expect. The on-the-fly, figure it out as we go approach is pretty much anyone can do these days, Type-A or not. If you’ve figured out a better way, please fill me in! I need all the help I can get.
So for those of you in the throes with me, I gathered this list of things that have made our days a little smoother. And then I quickly realized that I need more help, so I asked my Instagram friends and you all came through. If you haven’t already used some of these ideas, I hope you find a nugget or two to try tomorrow or the day after that or until we/our kids are safely back in schools in person.
[If you’re having Wi-Fi connectivity issues, you can check here and type in your address to see if Verizon’s 5G Internet Service is available in your area.]
Average Mom Tips and Hacks for Remote Learning
Stick to the Routine
Basic, but easy to let slide, especially when we still feel like we’re coming off of the longest summer break ever. But, sticking to a morning routine for all of us (and bedtime routine too!) helps immensely with overall moods, attitudes, schedules, and minimizing the lapses in mom brain. Getting dressed, washing up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, the pace is a little slower than our normal school year routine, but getting all those things done before the school day helps to stay on track and focused for the day. The boys have gotten so accustomed to it, they’re better dressed than I am most days. #averagemom
The other thing I’m having to enforce is normal bedtimes. It’s been harder coming out of our summer routine, but the seasons are changing and it’s time to get the boys back to a normal early bedtime.
Leave Your Kid(s) Alone
Many of the teachers/teacher moms suggested this! As much as possible, leave your kids alone during their live classes. If they need you certainly help, but try to train them to do as much on their own. Remember that you usually drop them off at school and only help with homework at home! No need to help them with every little thing now.
Hack: Red/Green Cups: have your child prop up the red cup when they need help, or green cup if they’re good (without having to speak out of turn or over classmates during live lessons).
Hack: For easily distracted kiddos, you can cast / connect the Chromebook or laptop to a larger screen (TV), so that you can see what the student is doing without hovering over their shoulder. It also helps with younger students see their teacher and classmates better.
Snack Tray Ready
After breakfast, I make a small snack tray that I leave in the play/study room for A. He helps himself between and during calls as needed. Less interruptions and much easier to keep the pace of the school day going to his schedule.
Hack: Have a glass or bottle of water on their desk. Have one ready to go in the fridge/kitchen for a refill.
Dance Breaks / Recess
Recess is a must, every day! One of A’s best friends is in our neighborhood pod and are on the same school schedule, so they spend most lunch breaks together, running outside and throwing a ball around. Other days, A rides his bike or scooter around with Baby B. The fresh air is so good for all of us.
Dance parties are our back-up on rainy days. We were doing this during the early lockdown phase in Spring, so now they’re back in full force to help getting the wiggles out on some of our funky-not so smooth days.
Remote Learning Tips
- Keep your kids’ feet propped up (helps with their posture and focus)
- Keep a basket of fidget toys (helps with their focus and concentration during zoom calls and virtual lessons)
- Set aside recess time with younger siblings (Baby B does better with respecting school hours when he knows he’ll have set time with his big brother).
- Check and double check mute/video settings on zoom call before you log off for the day and in between sessions. (helps with avoiding zoom call faux pas).
- Grab a pair of blue light blocking glasses if you haven’t already. (helps with the amount of screen time exposure).
- Set up 1 on 1 Zoom Calls with Classmates (helps with socialization and to feel more connected as a team/group/class).
- Tiered shelf systems for their desk or table and separate by subject to keep them organized.
- Clipboard with drawing paper or art supplies caddy so that it’s ready to go for specials class.
- Post-its for encouragement on their laptops / chrome books.
- Hang a wall clock in the study area or use Alexa with timer to keep kids/you on track.
- When all else fails, wine helps. So does whole family recess or dance party. 😉
- And lastly, GRACE. Give yourself grace. Your kids grace. This is a crazy year and a crazy situation. You’re doing a GREAT JOB.
Free Online Learning Resources We Love
Verizon 5G Home Internet Service
With Verizon’s 5G Home Internet Service, you don’t have to worry about your kid missing a live class. Or the lessons videos and apps freezing midway through. It’s the fastest internet service available right now! Check here to see availability in your area. They’re currently rolling out services across Detroit, Chicago, and Houston.
Don’t forget to sign up by September 30th to receive 3 months of free services and a year-long subscription to Disney Plus.