If you're a parent who's feeling out of their element right now as you step into the role of your child's teacher, don't worry: you're not alone. Social distancing and COVID-19 have shaken up all of our routines. Many parents are navigating the world of homeschooling, often while having to tend to their own 40-hour work weeks in their new work from home environment. We know it's all a lot to take on, so we're here to help you find your way along this new electronic learning path.
At Asurion, our sole focus is on helping make your tech life work for you. Our experts are dedicated to helping millions of customers troubleshoot complex issues, protecting their devices from cracks, spills or breaks, or simply sharing ways to unlock the full potential of tech.
Here they put together these 5 simple tips to help you navigate e-learning and make homeschooling as easy as possible, for both you and your kids.
1. Know the virtual learning tools
Platforms like Google Classroom, Schoology and Edmodo are possible options for teachers to stay involved in your child's learning and development. Here's a general description for each one to help you understand where your child is spending their time online.
With Google Classroom, your child can access lessons, important announcements and assignments from their teacher. Access Google Classroom by using a personal Google account or a school account. Ask your child's teacher or school administrator for which is best.
Schoology is a tool your child's teacher could utilize to keep them engaged in learning, even though they're not in a physical classroom. It also offers many resources to help keep you aware of upcoming due date and feedback from your child's teachers.
Edmodo is another classroom manager tool for teachers with built-in virtual classroom activities. Teachers can send and share messages with their students while also keeping you, the parent, updated with real-time grades and feedback on student performance.
2. Stay organized with a password manager
With all the different tools, programs and websites your child is accessing, that's a lot of usernames, passwords and websites to remember—especially if you have more than one kid. Keep track of everything with a password manager. Here are two helpful options to check out:
- 1Password: A subscription-based password manager, this service allows you to keep all your accounts secure with one master password for less than $36 a year. Try it out with no commitment with their free trial.
- LastPass: This password manager offers a free version (and also a more feature-heavy premium version) that allows you to store login information and passwords on any of your tech devices.
3. Boost your Wi-Fi
Between you and your partner working from home and your kids plugged in to online learning, a strong and fast internet connection is a definite must, especially if you're doing a lot of video chats. If your Wi-Fi is moving at a snail's pace, try these adjustments to speed things up:
- Make sure your router is in an open, central place, away from other devices.
- Regularly update your router's software by looking for updates on its admin page.
- Secure your network by going to your router's admin page online, choosing security level WPA2 and entering a strong password.
If you're encountering Wi-Fi dead zones, perhaps due to your home having an out-of-the-ordinary layout or several interior brick walls, you might also consider a wireless mesh network to create a more stable connection.
4. Get the extended family involved
Encourage family members who can't spend face-to-face time with your kids right now to get involved with their e-learning. How? Have them lead a fun activity or story time. For example, have their grandparents read them their favorite book over video chat. Have a cousin who aced the math portion of the ACT? Ask them to help your kids out with their algebra questions and offer up a lesson in a subject you're more knowledgeable with to their kids in exchange. Check out our list of the best free video chat apps for making those connections easy.
5. Take advantage of free online games and educational tools for kids
Break up their daily school routine with a fun virtual trip somewhere! Sure, we can't go to museums or zoos right now, but many of them are bringing the fun to you, virtually. See what Fiona the Hippo and other animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are up to on their YouTube channel. Or if your kids are missing the magic of Disney World, you can virtually experience their rides and attractions.
We understand there's a lot going on in the world right and, even closer to home, a lot going on under your roof. Be easy on yourself. It's taken years for you and your family to get into your routine pre-pandemic—it's okay that it may take a while to adjust.