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kindergarten teacher, sun lover, scorpio-introvert, dog mom, obsessed with low-tox living. Hoping to help you parent your littles, make some clean swaps, & simply live your best life.

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mackenzie

8/26/2020

Three steps to thrive during your child’s virtual school

  1. Love on your kids more / be present
  2. Create a “school” space at home
  3. Create a “getting ready for school” routine

You’re probably thinking, “Duh, Mackenzie. I already love my kids, obviously they’ll have a work space and yah they’ll be brushing their teeth in the am now that I smell their stinky breath all day if they don’t.” Stick with me.

Chances are, after being stuck at home for the last 6 months everyone’s feeling a little cramped and irritable. And nowww you’re going to have to get your kids to a virtual school on a daily basis. Sounds like a cake walk 😉


In my years as a kindergarten teacher I’ve had times when every day was a struggle. Those days where you’re constantly defeated, feeling helpless, everything you do is resisted – you get the drift. (LOL I typo’d that as “you get the drink” — maybe it’s a sign you should get a drink while reading this? kidding. Or maybe not;)). I shared my top 3 tips for success with online learning on my blog last week. I wanted to roll it all into one post, but I just couldn’t deliver the quality of instructions necessary in one post. Take a look, email me with any questions, and share it with your friends.

Step 1: Love on your kids more

Go out of your way to show your kids you care about them and are there for them. It’s a stressful time for both you and them, so showing them you’re with them will be super helpful. 

One way to do this is to make a point of giving your child 100% of your attention. Pick a few times throughout the day to stop what you’re doing & focus 100% on whatever they’re into. For some kids just one or two times, for others they might need 5 or 6. 

The days in the classroom that I intentionally closed my computer and walked around during snack, lunch, and play time just to “say hi” and “see how your day is going” were the best days I’ve had. No matter how many meltdowns had happened, those days were always better than the others. 

Find 2-5 minute pockets of time in your day where you can pop in & join your child and give them some extra love. You’ll both feel better!

Step 2: Creating a work space for kids at home:

It might not sound very fun or kindergarten-teacher-like but in my teacher opinion, the less the better. Kids get so easily distracted by their surroundings. Who can blame them, they’re curious beings! So to make this as painless, efficient, and effective as possible, my advice is for you to choose & clear the space solo, then bring your child into the conversation. 

Step one: Mommas, dads, grandparents, older siblings get the space to a blank slate first. Then, you and your cutie together make it a space where he/she will be successful & happy to come to. 

Clean slate, mom/dad

  • What surrounds this area that is helpful and will help my child be successful? 
    • Remove anything that does not help. Toys, paperclips, extra markers, books, last years work, pictures etc.

Setting the space, Together:

  • Posture: When they sit at their desk chair are their elbows, hips & knees at 90°? If their hands are up too high or their feet aren’t touching the ground it’s uncomfortable and difficult for them to work well. 
  • Tools: 
    • What do they need readily available? Put those in a cup or organizer on the desk. Make sure they have a designated place they’ll always be put.
    • Are they using a device? Plug the charging cord in nearby so they can charge it during school. 
  • Help your child create expectations for their work space. We do this in the classroom. What is expected to be on your desk, in your desk, how are you expected to sit… Bonus points for encouraging them to draw a picture of it! 

Step 3: Create a getting ready for school routine

Make a list of 3-5 non-negotiables. What are 3 things that you want your child to do before school starts?

  • For example: 
    • eat breakfast/lunch (good brain food! physically gets them ready)
    • go for a walk (physical activity before sitting for 3 hours is fantastic)
    • put on school-appropriate clothes (sets the tone for “I’m going to school”)

Then, let your child share 3-5 things they want to do before school and help them choose 1 to add to the routine with clear expectations. Maybe they want to color or play with legos. That will be the last thing on the to-do list. Set a timer for how long they have to complete their whole routine and all of the spare time at the end is their play/color time.

When kids get to be part of the decision making process it is a huge game changer. They are more interested and invested. It’s good for them and good for you, too!

So, tell me, how did this go for you?!

xo,

Mackenzie

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