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The No Fluff must-have remote learning essentials list to better prepare you and your family for remote learning this year.
Schools everywhere are either completely remote learning (or distance learning), or a hybrid of in-person classes and remote learning. Before I dive into the amazing resources you absolutely need when conducting remote learning (distance learning), I wanted to say this:
An Important Message from Me:
Whatever decision you make for you and your family — whether it is 100% remote learning (distance learning), hybrid in-person and remote learning, or 100% in person — you are making the right choice for your family.
I have seen so much parent-shaming on the internet and it needs to stop. This is such a difficult time for everyone – we need to respect other parents’ choices and stay in our lane.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
When we were thrown into distance learning (remote learning) back in mid-March, I had absolutely no idea what to do and what we needed to be successful!
Nobody really knew what to expect. We were hoping that the remote learning would only last a month… and here we are in August, and we find ourselves in the world of remote learning.
You’re probably as anxious as I and asking yourself, “How do I even set up an adequate learning environment for my child?”
“What is the best setup for remote learning?”
I got you, mama. First things first, save this for later. If you’re anything like me and my mom-brain, you’ll forget to save this amazing resource and not be able to find it down the road.
Don’t be like me, PIN IT.
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Must-Have essentials for Distance Learning for 2020-21 School Year
Your child will need the usual school supplies, but there will be a few extra essentials your child will need in order for remote learning to be successful.
I work from home myself and was honestly stressed out about sharing my laptop with my oldest son, James. Thankfully I already had a desktop computer for him to use!
Some schools are making exceptions and giving every student from 1st grade to 12th a laptop. However, if you find that your school cannot lend out a laptop, I suggest investing in a good laptop or Chromebook.
My son has a very difficult time focusing – what child doesn’t, right? In order to keep him focused on his classes, we had to buy a great pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Noise-canceling headphones are wonderful because it cancels out the background noises and it allows him to focus on his assignments.
Before you buy a set of headphones, ensure that it has a built-in microphone to ensure that they can both hear and speak to their teachers over virtual learning.
I don’t know about you but I do not like using the laptop’s trackpad! My child definitely has a hard time using one as well, and to make it more user friendly I purchased an inexpensive wireless mouse.
You don’t have to get one with the bells and whistles but it would make remote learning a breeze for your child – they wouldn’t have to worry about not clicking the trackpad correctly.
I have this one here and it’s worked wonders! So easy to setup.
Printer & Printer Paper
You’ll definitely need a good printer for remote learning purposes. When we were doing remote learning with James at the end of the 2019/2020 school year, I had to print off many, many worksheets.
As you can imagine we went through so many pieces of paper! Ensure that you stock up on a printer paper for your child’s remote learning journey.
Nothing is more frustrating than having to drop what you’re doing to quickly grab printer paper for your child’s classes.
Dry Erase & Markers
My husband’s aunt is a 3rd-grade teacher and this was the first thing she recommended when we reached out about James’ frustrations with common core math and geometry.
We had scheduled Microsoft Team calls with both of our kiddo’s teachers and therapists (my youngest son is in Early Childhood). Most laptops (or desktops) will have a built-in webcam for virtual call services.
However, if you find that your child’s tablet or computer does not have a working webcam, you can grab yourself an inexpensive webcam on Amazon.
School years can be hectic for families – especially remote learning. Families have other obligations such as work, doctor appointments, etc. on top of remembering when their child’s call with their teachers.
You don’t know how many times I would’ve forgotten a doctors appointment or TeleHealth call without my planner.
Now it’s going to be even more hectic for our family during the 2020-2021 academic year. Our little one is in ABA therapy four days a week, occupational twice a week, and speech therapy once a week. That doesn’t include the three days he will be school and his brother’s two days of in-person classes and three days of virtual learning.
Trust me, grab that planner!
Additional Must-Have Remote Learning Essentials
Desk or Quiet
If you do not have an office in your home, I do recommend finding an area where it will be quiet and less distracting for your child during their times with remote learning.
Thankfully for us we converted our spare bedroom into an office a couple months before all of this happened. You can always designate your kitchen table or buy a kids table set.
Patience & Grace
All the patience. I can’t remember a time where I was not frustrated and super impatient with remote learning. We have to take a step back and think about how are children are feeling during this time.
They’re use to being with their friends and socializing, going outside for recess, etc.
Give yourself grace, mama. We are all doing what we can during this uncertain time.
For those who are doing virtual learning, what are your must-have remote learning essentials or tips that are not on here?