When schools shut down in March of 2020, many of us muddled our way through the spring virtual learning the best we could with little time to prepare.

School divisions are rolling out their virtual learning plans for the fall now, but many elements may change. This we do know: many schools in our area will begin virtually, and the kids will be expected to fully engage, learn new things, and be present for asynchronous and synchronous learning sessions. Although school prep may be less about rushing to buy classroom school supplies, there is still plenty of preparation to be done to be ready for school to start.

In the next week, schedule a household meeting to discuss some important logistical topics:

1. Learning Spaces for Virtual School

Before school starts, you’ll want to define learning and working spaces for each person in your household. Is the space free of distractions? Is it quiet? Do you have a good WIFI signal in each space?

2. House Quiet Time

Class meetings and school start times may be different for each member of your house. At what time does quiet house time begin so that everyone can effectively do their work?

3. Electronics Policy

What will be your rules on the use of personal electronics during school/work “hours?” It is important to set these parameters before the start of school so everyone is on the same page. Perhaps having a household “parking lot” for personal devices during school hours would be a good way to start, and hours set when use of these devices is permitted.

4. Curriculum Format Change

Depending on your school system’s current scheduling, the blocking system for middle and high school students may be very different than what they are used to. In Virginia Beach, for example, the block schedule will be different this year (4×4 and 3×3 for high school and middle school, respectively). This means they will only have four or three classes per semester, but “attend” those classes daily, which means a different pacing of material than they are used to.

5. Support for Your Student (from the Parent or a Tutor)

What should your kid do if she needs help while you are working at home, or helping a sibling? Set a plan for how to move onto another subject until you are available to help.  Think about how and when to review your child’s assignments. Set aside time daily or weekly, depending on your child’s needs to review the assignments for the day.  If keeping up with several virtual platforms, assignment sources and the work itself is too much, consider looking for a tutor to help with supervision and structure.

What to do when you know you need reinforcements

We will continue to share tips and ideas for managing these changes. If your children need help navigating online assignments, independent work, or just need overall academic support, we are here to help. Simply click below to connect with us, or call us to discuss your needs. We will partner with you to provide the level of support and structure your child needs to have a great year.