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Building a Cheat Sheet for Your Child’s Online Schooling

Are you and your child still having difficulties with online schooling? I work from home, and I fully understand the need for children to be able to navigate technology on their own as much as possible. To help without hovering, build a cheat sheet for your child.

​First, write down key pieces of information, like the passwords they use to get into their learning platforms. Provide trouble shooting ideas if a password isn’t working. Show them the caps lock on the keyboard. If that’s on, it will alter the lowercase letters in a password. Remind them to type slowly and try again if the password doesn’t work the first time. ​

​Show them important items on zoom or other video devices. For instance, show them how to pin a video so they can have the teacher’s face large on the screen. Show them how they can tell if the camera is on. My friend’s child logged on to zoom early one day. For some unknown reason, while waiting for class to start, he decided to bicep curl his 3 pound barbells to build his tiny 10-year-old muscles. Unbeknownst to him, the camera was on and his classmates caught the entire performance. He now checks that the camera is off before beginning his workout regime. ​

​If the child is old enough to ask the teacher for help when they don’t understand an assignment or learning concept, show them how to contact the teacher. ​Remind them to be specific when asking the teacher a question. “I don’t understand number 3 on today’s math assignment. I tried to regroup, but I’m stuck now.”

​On the cheat sheet, provide a schedule for additional help throughout the day. Each hour can have a time slot, for instance. Write your name in the hour slots you are available to help. In the times you cannot assist, point them towards an alternate. Is there a friend or relative who has offered to help? Take them up on that offer. For instance, my niece facetimes her grandparents. They help her with small questions during the day. Because they live in another state, her grandparents relish the opportunity to spend more time with her, and she has another means of support. ​

​Many libraries have free homework assistance. Test it out with your child. If it’s something that’s beneficial, list that as a resource. My local library has live online tutoring and homework support starting at 2PM, so I can put that on my schedule. ​Put the teacher’s office hours on the schedule. If there is absolutely no one to help, write a note telling the child what to do. Perhaps he should put a star by that problem, skip it, and bring it to you the next time you are available.

​In creating this cheat sheet, you put the information in one place. Your child has instructions for logging onto learning platforms, ways in which to contact the teacher, and ways to receive additional help throughout the day. ​

University of Arizona Global Campus/Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

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