Virtual school is difficult for students and parents. Many articles have been written about how this can be done effectively including this one that does a nice job of summarizing main ideas.
Virtual learning is fertile ground for over parenting. This creates a number of emotions including anger, frustration, confusion and learned helplessness. Here are some points that may help reduce stress and add accountability on your child’s part.
- Your children can do virtual schooling. They have been doing it since March. Although it is challenging, it is something that can be done. If your children are struggling this is a great time to reinforce self-advocacy. Have your children reach out to their teachers to receive the support they need. Teachers want to help and when you, as a parent, become your children’s resource they will rely on you instead of others.
- Set up expectations. Let your children know what your expectations are and what the consequences will be if they are not met. Treat this just like you did with in-person schooling. An example would be: I trust that you are completing your homework. On Fridays I will check to make sure everything is complete. If it is not complete then you will be doing that this weekend instead of (video games, movies etc). Then, sit back and allow your children to either do or not do their homework. This puts the responsibility on your children where it should be.
- When your children learn from home it is tempting to micromanage them. If they were at school, they would have to manage homework, tests and projects without your help during the day. During the day allow them the opportunity to work on their own. If you see that they are not doing their work during the day, put into place a natural consequence. For example, you could tell them that when they have completed all their work they can (use their phone, play video games, go outside). If your children do not always tell the truth you can say, When you show me that your work is complete you can …
- Allow your children to ask you a certain amount of questions per day. This makes them think of other resources they can use to get answers. Remember, every time you give an answer you are training them to ask you and not work it out themselves.
Don’t let your kids trick you into thinking that they are not capable. They are. Allow them to show you.
If you have other questions, please feel free to reach out.