School looks different across the globe this year. As parents, we're dealing with lots of changes. For many of us, our homes are now virtual classrooms on top of many other things. Kids are navigating lots of changes too, especially when it comes to school. We gathered 7 tips to help bring a sense of normalcy and calm to virtual learning for you and your little scholar.
- School Pictures
- Designated Learning Zone
For many families, all aspects of life are blended under one roof right now, including school. If your child is learning from home you can create a designated learning zone for your little scholar. This gives them a unique space with a focus. Learning supplies like paper, pencils, crayons, books, etc. should be stored in the zone for easy access daily. Add a splash of fun by decorating the learning zone-based on a theme. For example, transform an ordinary learning zone into a beach-themed learning zone using items like an umbrella, beach chair, sun hat, and our sensory engaging narwhal water mat to create a unique space for your child. A learning zone can be based on any theme your child finds interest in and is unlike any other space in the home so it feels like a special place. If your child is not into a theme you can still decorate their learning zone using simple things like pom-poms, learning posters, and some of their favorite things.
- Visual Schedule
Kids love knowing what’s next and expected of them. In a classroom, students have a daily schedule on the board. We recommend making your child a daily schedule or asking their teacher for one. Print it out, slip it into a plastic sheet protector, and put in the learning zone for easy reference. You may want to put another copy on the kitchen fridge so you can easily reference it as well.
- Spirit Week
Kids have a ball with spirit week at school. Design a spirit week with your little scholar(s) using their favorites as inspiration like favorite color, sport, character, etc. to come up with daily themes. If you’re up for it kids love crazy hair day! This could make a fun family activity. Your coworkers may even get a kick out of your purple hair on Zoom.
- Brain Breaks
So, so, so important, especially for our little scholars! A typical school day is broken up with movement. Kids rotate in stations, walk hallways, dance and sing in class, play at recess, chit chat with friends at lunch, and move during P.E. Your child may have lost all of these versions of brain breaks, and are now learning on a computer, most likely in a sedentary position. You could break up their day by implementing brain breaks which could be anything that allows your child to step away from their computer. Dancing, walking, games, drawing, blocks, crafts, puzzles, baking, exercise, naps, snacks, etc are just some ideas.
- Virtual Field Trips
Don’t we all miss trips? Thanks to virtual field trips, your child can still expand their horizons and even visit really cool places outside of their city! Check out this comprehensive list of 35 Virtual Free Virtual Field Trips for Kids to Get Them Learning About the World from Good Housekeeping. We love how they broke down the list by museums, farms, landmarks, zoos and aquariums. Your child can explore 1 adventure per week. No permission slip necessary!
- Bedtime Storytime
Okay, just because school looks different doesn’t mean we can’t continue to instill the love for reading in our children. Books tap into a child’s imagination, build vocabulary, teach problem-solving skills, widen their worldview, and encourage family-bonding time. Books are fundamental for developing so many skills. From a kids perspective, a bedtime story is such a sweet mommy/ daddy and me moment. Grandpa and grandma could even get in on the fun by reading a story to your little scholar using a video conferencing app.
As your child continues virtual learning it's important to remain calm and open-minded through all of the ups and downs that happen this school year. You will get through this, mama and papa. Remember to breathe. We hope our 7 tips bring a sense of normalcy to the school year and inspire happy moments with your family. Share these moments with us on Instagram @infantinobaby.