Creating an Academic Environment at Home, 9/14/2020
The school year is underway as students, parents and teachers adjust to the temporary normal of virtual learning. At Fostering Leadership Academy (FLA), families are given flexible learning options to cater to their needs. Whether students attend school in person or participate virtually, FLA provides individualized learning plans to meet the unique needs of each student. In honor of National Online Learning Day (September 15), read our blog for tips on how to create an environment at home that supports virtual learning. Remember – this is a “new normal” for all of us!
Develop a Consistent Routine and Schedule
It can be difficult for children to subscribe to a school routine at home. Developing a virtual learning schedule that works for your family can help facilitate an academic environment at home. When developing your schedule, make sure to factor in everyone at home who may be helping with virtual learning. Schedules should include time for recess, lunch and wellness breaks to allow your child to rest and exercise throughout the day and will help keep them focused. At FLA, recess and meditation are built into the schedule to encourage rest and relaxation.
Have a Dedicated Work Space
Take time to dedicate an area of your home to class time. Your child’s space should:
- Be well lit. Lighting is important and helps kids stay alert and focused.
- Have upright seating. It’s easy for children to want to relax at home. Seating them at a table with a chair will help them stay engaged in their virtual lessons.
- Be free of distractions. Find a space in your home that is free from televisions, video games and high-traffic areas of your home.
- Be engaging. Incorporate visual learning aids around your child’s workspace. Visit your local teacher store, office supply store or dollar store to find engaging aids to add.
Stock up on Supplies
Pens, pencils and folders — oh my! Having all of the necessary supplies at home will ensure your child is prepared for virtual learning. Your child’s teacher can provide a list of supplies appropriate for their grade level and needs throughout the school year. Students at FLA, whether attending virtually or in-person, are given a free backpack full of the supplies they need to have a successful year.
It’s important to develop great communication with your child(ren)’s teachers. Consistently check in with your child and communicate any needs or concerns with their teacher. If your child is struggling, your teacher will be able to provide additional support and resources to ensure that your child does not fall behind.
Virtual learning is new to most families. If a personal situation arises or a major shift in the household occurs, be encouraged to disclose that information with your child’s instructor so they can understand changes in your child's behavior or progress. Families and teachers should be transparent and in close contact with each other to develop trust and healthy relationships to have a successful school year. FLA staff lead with empathy and understand that shifts are a part of life. Speak with your child’s instructors about your child’s needs and any concerns you have.
Keep Track of Online Resources & Login Information
In the age of virtual learning, students and parents are required to engage with their teachers online, which requires a great understanding of technology. To help tackle the technology side of virtual education:
- Bookmark frequently-visited websites. Make sure to bookmark the websites that your child will be required to visit often. This will make it easier for you to quickly find the websites you need.
- Keep track of login information. Many of the online resources and education platforms will require a username and password to gain access. It can become overwhelming to remember the login information for you and your child(ren). Create a document or download an app that stores all of the login information for easy access.
- Take time to watch tutorials. Each online platform is different and has its own set of challenges. Take some time to sit down with your family and review the “how-to” tutorials that walk through troubleshooting and fixing issues that may arise. If the website does not have this information you likely can find a video on YouTube that can help you with any technical issues.
Virtual learning is a great option for families who require flexibility and prefer to remain socially-distanced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or a peer is interested in a school that offers both virtual and in-classroom options, CLICK HERE to learn more about Fostering Leadership Academy. We hope to hear from you!