Fast Tips for Virtual Learning


The school year is coming quickly and there are a lot of uncertainties coming up. Many school districts are going completely virtual in order to protect students, faculty, and staff. Others are offering virtual as an option, and many parents are taking that option.

There has been more time to prepare than what we saw in March, but many schools and families are sitting like deer in headlights when it comes to figuring out the logistics. We're getting more information passed down, and many of us are starting to plan things out.

The fact is, virtual learning is very different than learning in a classroom. Whether you're sending a 3rd grader to virtual elementary school or you're taking a graduate class online for the first time, it's important to learn how to navigate things well.

I'm not an educator by trade, but between helping churches to go virtual and taking a number of my graduate degree classes in a hybrid fashion, I do feel like I have some insight on the matter. I want to pass that wisdom on to you!

I know this isn't a traditional therapy post - but it is one that should be able to help your family as you step into a new season of virtual learning. Hope that these tips help you out.

1. Get organized and stay organized. Organization is absolutely central to online learning. I've been a freelancer for over a decade, and organization is central for keeping me on track day in and day out. It's the same way for online learning. Take the time to put together some sort of a folder system (or however you like to organize). One of the tools that works best is Todoist, It allows you to put together your day by day schedule, and you can be as broad or micromanaged as you wish.

2. Be intentional. You want to have a daily schedule that you adhere to, day in and day out. Being intentional with your time - including when you have leisure - is absolutely key when you want to find success with virtual learning. Don't just fly by the seat of your pants - include intentionality in your organizational plan.

3. Keep communication open. If you or your child is learning virtually, then it's absolutely essential to keep communication open with everyone involved. Everyone in your family needs to be aware of the schedule that you're working with. The teachers or professors you're working with should be kept in the loop about things. Ask questions, talk when you need to, and keep meetings. Open communication allows for a fuller understanding of expectations.

4. Get outside when you can. You and your kids are not having gym class while enjoying virtual learning. So, you need to be sure that you get outdoors and get exercising whenever you can! Whether you take a walk around the block or go on a hike in the woods, you want to expend some energy and make sure that you keep your body healthy. Plus, being outdoors improves your mood!

5. Learn how to put backgrounds on video chats. My video chat background is our living room, but that ends up being mostly board games. But, if you don't feel as comfortable with your home (and you want to prevent issues related to cyber bullying), consider putting up some sort of fun background. Learn how to do backgrounds on whatever platform that your'e using and it'll make the experience awesome.

6. Keep track of your child's screen time and interactions. Cyber bullying is going to be higher than ever with virtual learning, so you want to be vigilant about who your kids are interacting with and how often. It can also help you to protect their privacy (and yours). On top of that, keep track of that screen time because too much can cause eye strain.

I'm not saying that the process is going to be a simple one, but if you commit yourself to the process, you can make it a bit easier on your entire family. Pray, adjust, and you've got this!

Be Blessed, Marti

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