Let’s set the scene for most parents: schools have just opened or are “planning” to open in the coming days/weeks, you’re accounting for a hybrid schedule, and making adjustments based on the amount of time your children will be learning in-person. This is an incredibly frustrating time. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. 

It can be difficult to put a positive spin on the current state of schooling. However, just know that you’re not alone in your concerns — millions of parents are going through the same thing. So where does this leave us? Simply put, we’re just trying to do the best we can. To help you do the same, we put together steps for supplementing your children’s learning. 

1. Embrace virtual classes 

Incorporating them into your learning schedule is important.

Transitioning your children over to a virtual class schedule isn’t always easy. We get it. Yet, while the experience is different than in-person classes, they can be just as enriching. Hundreds of educators have shifted their in-person programming to a virtual setting — building engaging digital classrooms your little ones will love.

From art and dance to STEM and music, there’s a class for almost every category you’ll find in a classroom. The best part? Discovering the right activity for your children couldn’t be easier. You can easily filter by category, date, and the age of your child on Sawyer

As school years begin, taking time to get more comfortable with virtual classes is an important part of assimilating to a new routine. We put together steps you can take here!

2. Explore free virtual classes for kids 

Dozens of providers on Sawyer offer free virtual classes.

Regardless of the path you choose to supplement your children’s education, incorporating free virtual classes is a great way to balance out a curriculum. Some of the reasons are:

  • Many free classes on Sawyer are offered on a recurring basis. Consistently taking a class will give children the opportunity to form a relationship with their educator. These relationships lead to an excitement for class — making the virtual learning experience even better. So let free classes help you along the way! 
"The instructor does a great job teaching new skills in a fun way. My daughter can’t wait to go back every week" - Alex, S
  • The shift away from a full in-person school schedule has had consequences on portions of curriculums. In an effort to retain core programming, extra-curricular activities are often cut back. Exploring free activities like art and music is a great way to balance out your child’s schedule with a diverse array of activities.
  • For most parents the days can be unpredictable. Things come up and schedules change — it’s only natural. Whether you’re prepping snacks for your little ones or trying to finish office work, free classes are there for your children when you’re in a bind and need time for yourself.

3. Bring offline learning into your daily routine

Balancing virtual classes with offline games is key.

While virtual classes are important to incorporate into your child’s routine, it’s equally valuable to include offline activities. Whether it’s a break to run around, read a book, or an art project, offline activities are a great way to break up the day and give your child a chance to recharge between classes. If you’re looking for some offline activity inspiration, we put together some of our favorites here

4. Routine is key 

The name of the game is “structure.”

Children function best with a certain degree of structure, so maintaining as much of their preexisting routine will be beneficial. Some things we recommend are:

  • Using a dry erase board to list weekly assignments and schedules. Take it a step further by having your child help with the planning! 
  • Break up the day with consistent lunch times. Ensuring each day follows a similar schedule is key to productivity. Consider making lunch the night before (like a normal school day!) so you and your little ones can hit the ground running in the morning!
  • Setting timers will give your children a visual of how much time is left in class. This helps create a classroom atmosphere.

5. Take hints from your children!

The more invested they are, the smoother the schedule will be.

The silver lining of the current state of learning is that the rules have changed. Whether you’re structuring your child’s schedule in a learning pod or supervised virtual classes, you have an opportunity to create a schedule around your child’s behaviors. Maybe they’re active in the mornings and would prefer to start the day with an exercise class? The afternoons could be for science classes or learning a new language

If you can, talk to your children about their preferences and take hints about what they want to discover. Giving your little ones the opportunity to take ownership of their schedule will help them feel more invested in the routine.

And remember, there’s no correct template for learning during this academic year. Every parent is trying the best they can. Support each other, share resources and advice, and stay positive! We’ll get through this together. If you have any questions or want to connect with other parents, DM us at @hellosawyer

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