How to survive e-learning in the 3 to 5 year old category
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Many of us have probably been thrown Into the world of e-learning with little to no experience. For myself, going through a period of quarantine at home with the kids and doing e-learning has been a really interesting and somewhat challenging experience.
My 5-year-old has started kindergarten, while my now 4-year-old has pre-k sessions 2 times a week as well. After 9 weeks however of being thrown into the e-learning experience, especially with the younger kids, here is my advice on surviving e-learning with the 3 to 5-year-old age group.
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“Some of my tips for surviving the e-learning experience with the 3 to 5 year old age group!”
Organization is required for e-learning, especially when the times are allotted by the school. This means that there are set times to log on or off, assignments due, meetings with other teachers, specials, etc. Organization sets the stage for great productivity, especially with younger kids.
Get tools that can help to make the organization easier for you. Post-it notes, for example, are ideal for jotting down reminders, lists of things to be done, tasks, etc. For Post-it Notes, get different colors so that you can personalize them to specific activities, for instance, blue for assignments due, red for teachers' meetings, etc.
Have a few stacks around as well so that you can have reminders readily available to get your day going. Planners also offer a great way to keep organized as busy moms.
The more organized you become, the better it is for you to manage your time well and get more work accomplished. There are different planners available for anything that you can think of (Mommy Inspired planners and journals are available on my website).
2. GET READY FOR SCHOOL
Start the day just as you would a normal day of getting ready for school. If their normal brick-and-mortar school routine involved a bath, breakfast, putting on clothes, etc. then continue as before.
The reason for this is to allow them to get into the frame of mind that they are at school. You want them to understand that even though they are at home, it’s not just a day at home but it's a day at school as well. Also if your child was to return to the brick-and-mortar schedule, you will have less of a fight with them trying to get back on track.
3. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR SCHOOL
Ensure that your child is appropriately dressed for school. That would mean no PJs, please! Our school required that the children are properly dressed in their school attire. It also helps them to be aware that they are in fact at school and not just at home.
4. HAVE SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND OTHER TOOLS READILY AVAILABLE
Make sure to have everything that you need for e-learning readily available. E-learning is no different from a regular class setting. Therefore, check with your school what the required list of school supplies needed are and have it available. In addition, you may need a printer or copy machine/ scanner to print or upload assignments, etc.
I had a scenario where I didn't purchase a writing book that was required for a class but I ignored it thinking oh it's e-learning, however, the teacher requested the book and I had to run to Walmart last minute trying to find this book, which was now out-of-stock.
I ended up paying way more for the book than during the back-to-school sale. So my advice is to please get what you need from the school list just as you would if your child was going into school. I even had my kids wear a backpack as well, just to get back into the school routine.
5. HAVE A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR E-LEARNING
Remember that children are easily distracted when it comes to sitting down on a computer especially for longer sessions. An environment with less distraction is best. I, therefore, would not recommend the toy room, television room, etc.
With whatever situation you have, try to make a space that is quiet and less likely to cause distraction. You don’t want a kid running off to watch the television while in a session with his teacher. Create a distraction-free environment as best as you can.
6. TRY TO MODEL THE SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Most schools usually follow a schedule or routine of what classes and activities are done at each time. Even with e-learning, you may have certain times when students are expected to be logged in for class, and when they should be off doing assignments or having recess.
Try to follow the same schedule as much as possible, even when you are off after a class. This is necessary as it will be easier to transition your child back to school, should you decide to go back later on.
7. HAVE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
Try to incorporate outdoor activities as much as you can in between the e-learning schedule. After my eldest first morning class, they have recess. I therefore either take him to the park or have him do some outdoor activity that would be similar to what he would do if he was at school.
Kids need outdoor playtime for social, emotional, and physical development. Therefore try to incorporate an outdoor or fun activity if it's possible with your schedule.
8. PLAN MEALS AND SNACKS AHEAD OF TIME
Based on your child’s schedule it is sometimes necessary to plans all the meals for the day ahead of time and have them readily available for quick preparation.
The schedule in between classes may be short. For example in my situation, an hour in between classes is the only time for me to actually prepare meals. If I have nothing prepared, then it takes time away from my child eating and getting ready to head back to class.
Therefore having quick readily available meals for breakfast, lunch, and snack time is necessary and less time-consuming.
9. TRY TO DO ASSIGNMENTS ON TIME
My first week of e-learning was a bit enlightening when it came to getting assignments submitted. I was rushing to scan, take a picture, submit online, etc. before a deadline.
Whatever your situation is, my advice is to try to have your child do the assignment right away after a class session if possible, and submit it. Sometimes if you wait for too long, you can end up in a situation where assignments are delayed and the consequence is a tired 5-year-old trying to get it completed and submitted before the day ends.
I am speaking from my own experience. Try to do the activity right after the class is finished and submit it right away. Also, the information that your child is learning is also fresh in his memory. You may not have to struggle with him later to get it done when they are super tired after a day in school.
Another tip I found as well is to make use of the early mornings when they are active, alert, and ready to learn. They are more attentive and less likely to be sluggish trying to complete an assignment.
10. TAKE A NO ACTIVITY BREAK OR A NAP TIME
Allow your child to take a no activity break or better yet a nap time if you can squeeze it in. Even little pockets of 10 to 15 minutes or more breaks can really help a child to relax a bit, especially after a long session of schoolwork or activity.
It is harder especially for the younger kids to stay quiet during longer periods of class time and therefore do expect some wiggles, slouching, and resistance to keeping quiet during class time. The time-out will kind of help to relax your child a bit before more sessions start.
Overall here are some of my tips for surviving the e-learning experience especially with the 3 to 5-year-olds. Try to be as patient as possible with the little ones. Having to adjust to being in front of a computer all day is not their typical scenario.
If you're also required to be present with your child while they do e-learning, you are probably exhausted as well learning pre-school all over again like myself. Some days may go smoothly, while others may be hectic. Whatever your situation throws at you, try to relax, take it one day at a time, and help them along as best as you can.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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