Today’s post is sponsored by T-Mobile. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
Virtual learning… something we never thought we’d have to do. However, here we are! We were thrown into it last March with no idea what to do or how it would go. And when we made the decision to keep our kids home for the first semester this fall, I knew going into it that it had to be different in order for it to be successful.
Well we’ve been at it for 9 weeks so far and I am happy to report, it’s not the worst thing in the world. While I’m eager to send them back in January, we’ve been making the best of it here and I’ve learned some things to do and not do along the way. So today, I’m going to share a few tips on how to make virtual learning a success.
But before I jump right in, I just want to mention that I realize how lucky I am to have that option. That some families may not have access to the internet or other tools needed for online learning. When I started working with T-Mobile, I knew they were a special company. Their commitment to support veterans and active duty military was something unmatched. But in addition to supporting the military community, they also care about our children and their future.
Which is why they launched Project 10Million. Project 10Million is “an unprecedented $10.7B initiative aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households at no cost to them. Partnering with school districts across the country, the program offers eligible student households free wireless hotspots, free high-speed data and access to laptops and access to at-cost tablets.”
Is that not amazing?! I’ve often taken for granted the fact that I can access the internet without issues and now that we’re in the thick of virtual learning, I can’t imagine not having access when my children’s education depends on it.
So in addition to reliable internet access, here are a few other tips on how to make online learning a success.
Designated space: One of the mistakes we made last year was trying to work at the dining room table. And while it seemed like the best option at the time, it ended up being a challenge. This time around, we made sure they had designated spaces, even if they were in their bedrooms. We set up desks, organized supplies, and made sure to make it a separate environment as much as we could.
Take small breaks. Children are not meant to sit still at their desks for hours on end. The teachers in our district have done an amazing job at creating a schedule that keeps them focused but also gives them multiple breaks away from the computer. Even better? Get outside if you can! The fresh air is a great refresh!
Keep them on track. At the end of the day, they’re at home, and it can sometimes be a challenge to keep them focused when they would rather be doing anything else. Make sure you check in frequently or if you can, sit in there during a few of their meetings so you make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We also don’t allow iPads or video games during their breaks because we’ve found it’s harder for them to get back to the school work once their break is over. They can go outside, read, play quietly, etc. but technology has to wait!
Print out their schedule. Allowing them to actually see and visualize their day helps them see how long they’ll be in one meeting, what’s coming next, when they have a break, etc. Print it out and highlight… organization is key!
Reliable carrier and internet provider. As I mentioned above, reliable internet is crucial. There’s nothing worse than technology failing you when your children’s education depends on it. Even before the Pandemic, so many households were without the tools they needed and it created a homework gap for families who were unable to get online to complete homework assignments. Project 10Million has committed to helping these families and making sure as many families as possible are set up for success. You can read more on Project 10Million here.
This won’t be the norm forever but for now, this is where we are and we will deal with it day by day! I hope these tips help make it as painless as possible. You’ve got this!
If you’re interested in learning more about the wonderful things T-Mobile does for the community, check out these posts below: