eLearning is the educational sensation that is sweeping the nation. School is back in session, and both you and your child have some work to do, from home… remotely… together. Even though it is a strange and unprecedented setup, you can make of your child’s remote learning adventure alongside your own.
Doing course work for your online degree at home while your child participates in remote learning for their k-12 schooling can be a tricky situation to maneuver. It can certainly be a challenge to balance being a student and a parent at the same time, especially as your children’s needs come first.
Luckily, tricky does not mean impossible. Though, you might need a helping hand to get you started. No worries. This guide will teach you everything you need to know when you happen to be earning your online degree and guiding a child through remote learning.
What to Consider First
You will need to get a firm handle on the logistics of the situation. This is the best way to ensure that both you and your child get the most out of your educational experience. It all starts with evaluating the details. Here are the details you will need to consider when determining how to make e-learning work for both you and your child:
- Age: Luckily, if you have an older child that you can trust to stay on track with their schoolwork, you can generally use a more hands-off approach. Unfortunately, if you have a younger child, you will have to be on call to step in and solve tech issues, learning questions, and any behavioral challenges.
- Workday Length: You will have to know your child’s schedule before you may out your own. Some schools are doing half the day in-person and the other half remote, while some alternate days and others are all online, so it can get messy.
- Scheduling: When does your child eat breakfast and lunch? When do you? What about study breaks? Your schedule or routine should account for these necessities during the day.
Working When Your Child Works
One of the simplest solutions to parent-child e-learning is working at the same time. On paper, it just makes sense. In practice, there are a few more things to consider to make this schedule work. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of studying when your child is studying.
- Bonding Time: Though you will not be spending much time chatting with one another, working with your child (and lending a helping hand when needed) can be a bonding experience.
- Set an Example: Children naturally look toward their parents for guidance and mimic their actions. If you are focused and getting your work done, your child might be motivated to do the same.
- No Childcare Arrangements: You will be handing childcare while getting things done. There is no need to hire outside help. Save those IOUs for later.
- Multitasking: Though there is this image of parents as the ultimate multitaskers, it is not the best approach for studying or working. As you may have to be on-call for your child, your focus is likely to be on your child, rather than the books.
- Does Not Work for Younger Children: Speaking of distractions, with younger children, e-learning can be an impossible task. Managing distractions, breaks, and frustrations leave no room for coursework on your end.
- Schedule Misalignment: Though it would be ideal if you and your child had the same schedule, it is unlikely that they will line up perfectly.
Making e-Learning Work for You and Your Child
There are many challenges that one may face in life, but the biggest one might just be making e-learning work for you and your child. If you can pull that off, you can pull anything off. That said, you will need to build the right strategy to ensure that you both reap the maximum benefits from your e-learning experience. These tips will help you build that strategy:
Scheduling is Key
You will need to create a detailed schedule of your child’s day and your own. This schedule will act as a reference for you. It can help guide your decisions regarding when you might need to arrange childcare, schedule meals or breaks, and when you are likely to have unimpeded study time for yourself.
Contact Your Child’s Teachers
Keeping up-to-date with your child’s schooling can be challenging in an e-learning environment. However, by reaching out to the teachers directly, you can get the full picture. They will give you advice regarding your child’s needs during the school day. Plus, you can make sure your child is keeping up with assignments.
Prepare Meals and Snacks in Advance (for both of you)
You will find that your day runs a lot more smoothly, and you will have a lot more free time when you can simply reach into the fridge for a delicious premade meal. Meal prep can take some getting used to, but saving time during the week can benefit both you and your child while e-learning.
Ask for Help When You Need It
Though it is tempting, there is no need to be super mom or dad, especially not since you will run the risk of burning out. Whether it is something as simple as creating a reasonable chore chart for your older children or asking a family member to babysit for a little while, removing that responsibility from your workload can have great benefits. It may be hard, but do not forget to take care of yourself, too.
Consider Pairing Up
Try for an alternating day schedule by pairing up with neighbors or another parent from your child’s class. You will take care of managing e-learning for the kids one day and handle it the next. This works well for children of all ages. This way, you are only supervising half the time. You will free up a day or period for yourself to get work done. With luck, you might even get ahead.
Putting these tips and tricks into action might take a little time, but it will certainly be worth the effort for both you and your child. The fact is, e-learning can be challenging, regardless of age. That said, you and your child muddling through the experience together can be a real bonding experience if you let it be.
However, you do not want to make the mistake of choosing a school that is inflexible and unwilling to accommodate your needs as a parent and a student. That is why it is crucial to choose a school, like IMBC, that allows you to earn your online degree on your terms with a support system designed to help you succeed.