Thriving in the World of Virtual Learning and Homeschooling - Make The Grade
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The year 2020 has propelled all of us into unprecedented times. Each aspect of our lives has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, from our core choices of careers to the daily struggles of shopping at our favorite stores. There is no more vital area that has been impacted than the education of our children. This is where virtual learning and homeschooling comes into play.

Earlier this year, our entire nation was suddenly thrust into teaching our children at home. The balance of jobs and educational demands was juggled, as families and schools scrambled to adjust. For instance, many families were operating in survival mode, which is entirely understandable and acceptable in the short term. However, now is the time to move from emergency responses to that of choice, direction and empowerment.

You can thrive in either a distance learning or a homeschool environment. Your family can grow in purpose and vision as you become intricately involved in the educational journey together. Achieve maximum education for your children with these practical methods of success.

Help your child reach maximum potential through the offerings of mAke the grAde while doing virtual learning and homeschooling. Contact Dr. Greene for an individualized learning plan today. Allow him to partner with you to thrive in all of your educational endeavors.

Adopt a Positive Mindset

The reasons to be stressed about educational choices are obvious. We have never been less capable of predicting what the next year will bring, yet every challenge brings tremendous opportunity. This situation allows you and your children to embark on a quest for learning together. Your children will see you model what being a life-long learner involves. You will research, learn, assess and adjust along the way. In addition, make an intentional choice to choose joy in this journey of virtual learning and homeschooling.

Limit Exposure to the News

Part of adopting a positive mindset is taking mastery over the programming that you allow into your home. It is important to stay well-informed, but it is not wise for the latest headlines to invade your home’s sense of peace and safety. Consider your children’s ages and sensitivities to current events in making decisions about exposure to news sources.

The parents should filter information first and then give just the amount of exposure that encourages positive mental health and communication. It is okay to turn everything off and focus on your own family.

Instead of allowing the news’s negative nature to take away your family’s joy, redirect your thoughts to how you can positively impact the world around you. Do yard work for an elderly neighbor, record stories for younger siblings or family members and write notes of appreciation to grandparents, veterans and others in isolation. Take positive action to relieve the angst of the current unrest around you.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Talk and listen to your children. Find out their fears and misgivings and share your own. Your children may be facing feelings of isolation, loneliness, anxiety and fear, but may feel reluctant to tell you. Encourage your child by providing a safe environment to express these feelings without quickly dismissing or redirecting them. Think of ways to manage and monitor challenges as a family. Take advantage of this virtual learning and homeschooling to foster open communication.

Develop a Schedule

Though a schedule does not have to be rigid, it does provide a framework to build for success. You now have the advantage of making a plan that maximizes your child’s sleep patterns and learning styles. People thrive through predictability and structure, so try to aim for having the same beginning and ending times each day.

Develop both an individual schedule for each family member and a centralized master schedule that shows important meetings, activities and objectives. This strategy will encourage the mindset of the family as a team working together for common goals. Be sure to include your important meetings, project deadlines and other items. Your children will see the need for being quiet and self-directed at points throughout the day.

Take advantage of color-coding and symbols that will allow your family members to identify and utilize the calendars in executing their days quickly. For individual schedules, you may color-code by subject or due date. For your master calendar, you might select a color representing each individual that best matches their personality or interest. Make all of your family’s schedules practical and easy to adjust and reuse.

Create a Designated Work Space

Set up a quiet space with few distractions. Make the area enjoyable by decorating with inviting colors and inspiring pictures, quotes and items that encourage your children to achieve their particular goals. The reduction of clutter in the workspace will increase focus on the tasks at hand.

Find out from your children what is most distracting to each individual and plan accordingly. One child needs absolute quiet, while another requires the “white noise” of a sound machine or instrumental music to function in the best way possible. To one child, a pet takes away focus from the study, yet for another child, the pet might bring comfort and a center for their attention. Take advantage of this opportunity to individualize your children’s working space to their strengths. Seek feedback and plan accordingly.

Feed Your Bodies before Feeding Your Minds

Proper nutrition is a must. Eating a good breakfast provides the fuel necessary for prime academic performance. Memory and attention are especially connected to proper nutrition.

Research healthy recipes together for high-protein, flavorful foods. Make this a positive, interactive part of the day that encourages communication and togetherness before turning the focus to the day’s demands.

Seek Proper Rest

To meet the demands of this uncertain time, you need ample rest. The benefits of proper sleep are remarkable. It increases immunity and restores energy for worn muscles and minds. Additionally, it sharpens focus and creativity and healing of body and mind. Limit late-night television and video games, encouraging everyone to charge their devices and turn off their electronics one to two hours before going to bed. Work out a schedule that may include earlier bedtimes and waking times for younger children and later scheduling for older family members. This strategy allows for staggered use of materials and equipment and time for personalized instruction.

Encourage your children to see the advantages of proper sleep and get their input on the amount of sleep that works best. Demonstrate your belief in an adequate rest by also getting the sleep that you need. This practice will allow you to prepare your family’s minds for the relentless demands of virtual learning and homeschooling.

Charge Your Devices While Charging Yourselves

A part of preparation is having all of your devices cleared, wiped down and prepped for the next day. Pull up the websites and bookmarks that you need beforehand to allow you to plunge into the tasks. Set up a charging station to charge your devices while refueling your mind with restorative sleep. Just the act of plugging in allows everyone to break away from their devices and “unplug” as a way to distress at the end of a long, productive day.

Inspire Self-Directed Learning

Take advantage of this opportunity to show your children that no one knows everything. Remind them that the future of their education does not rely on a pre-packaged program or particular teacher or expert. The responsibility for their success will increasingly fall in their own hands.

Select a topic about which the entire family has great curiosity but little knowledge. This choice might be in a practical area, such as a home repair, creative update or physical activity. Then, research together on methods, materials and strategies. Watch demonstrations, find capable instructors and learn and evaluate together. Actively experiment with the new endeavor, finding what works well and what does not. In every step along the way, you are modeling how to pursue meaningful education, self-monitor success, evaluate and make adjustments. The investment will pay out both short-term and long-term advantages.

Use the experience to springboard into practical methods for instruction. Encourage your children to take charge of their learning by forming questions, planning and anticipating what to expect from lessons. In this way, your children will see education as an endeavor to embrace instead of an experience to endure.

How Can We Help with Virtual Learning

By applying these winning strategies to your home-learning experience, you will set up your family for a memorable, enjoyable adventure. Don’t feel that you have to make this journey alone. Look to the experts around you for support, guidance and inspiration. We at “mAke the grAde” educational services stand ready to help you develop a flexible, winning system that maximizes education for your family.

Dr. Steven Greene, “The Success Doctor,” founded this academic services company in 1997 upon the philosophy that every student deserves individual attention.

Dr. Greene understands the climate of the current times and that each situation is unique. The structure of mAke the grAde gives much-needed flexibility, including one-to-one tutoring sessions, small group classes, online-based courses, educational podcasts and endless support through an online success community. Academic tutoring for all levels of math and branches of science is available, as well as preparation for SAT, PSAT and ACTs.

Help your child reach maximum potential through the offerings of mAke the grAde while doing virtual learning and homeschooling. Contact Dr. Greene for an individualized learning plan today. Allow him to partner with you to thrive in all of your educational endeavors.