SPiCE Skillbuilding Scoop: Tips for Virtual School Success
By Mrs. Mazon, Intervention Specialist
Now that we will be in school mode at home for at least the rest of the year, here are some tips to help you and your kids get the most out of your day and stay sane! It is never too late to start good habits. Most of these tips are from a free online webinar from ADDitude. They offer many free resources for parents of students with ADHD. Though geared towards students with ADHD these tips would benefit many students.
Routine, routine routine.
- Find a routine that works for your family and stick to it.
- Get up at a consistent time and go to bed at a consistent time.
- Eat meals at the same time and complete work at the same time.
- Add in scheduled time for fun such as going outside or playing a boardgame.
- There are many examples online if you do not want to start from scratch
- These websites have a few samples:
- Build your schedule around the most productive parts of the day. Most people are their most productive mid-morning. Have your child complete their most challenging assignments during this time and save easier tasks for the afternoon when their mood and energy are at its lowest.
- If your child is resistant to getting their work done, get their input. They will be more receptive and willing to work if they had a say in putting together their schedule.
Create a To Do List
- Display your list in a public place
- Use a whiteboard
- Make one for the entire week to help with planning but also display the schedule for that day’s work
- If it is overwhelming for your child to see the whole week then only show that day’s schedule.
Don’t Complete Assignments All at Once!
- Spread out work throughout the day and week
- Complete required assignments first
- Elementary age students should work for 20-25 minute periods with 5-10 minute breaks in between.
- Use a timer to help motivate kids and keep them focused
- Offer a preferred activity (a short video, coloring, a walk etc.) once they finish a task.
- This is our school’s recommended amount of weekly work time for students based on grade:
K – 2 1.25 – 2.5 hours
3-4 1.5 – 2.5 hours
5-6 2 – 3.5 hours
7-8 2.5 – 4 hours
- Remember even during a regular school day they are not working on academics for 7 straight hours
- Completing work in one day does not support the retention of knowledge.
- The Forgetting Curve shows that the first time you learn about a topic you remember it well for a short time but the further you get from using that knowledge, the more likely you are to forget that information. Working on a task a little bit each day will help your child retain that knowledge.
Give Everyone Their Own Space to Work
- Try and give each kid their own space to work other than their bedroom. This will help them be in ‘school mode’ at home.
- Provide elementary students with stations around the home so they are active and moving.
- If a teen prefers to be in their room then work with them on a compromise. You can offer that they are in more public areas in the morning and they can be in their room in the afternoon.
- Many classroom teachers are offering optional whole class meetings at least once a week. It may seem like a lot to add in one more activity but interaction will go a long way to help decrease stress and help your child feel connected in these uncertain times.
- Stay in contact with your child’s teachers. We are here to help and want to know if your child is struggling with the workload.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or helping your child build similar skills during this time stuck at home, sign up for ADDitudes 8 week online webinars:
Dolin M.Ed., Ann. Coronavirus Crash Course for Parents: Keeping Kids with ADHD in ‘Study Mode’ While Home from School. New Hope Media LLC. 19 Mar. 2020. Webinar.