Like most moms, I was overwhelmed how QUICKLY we transitioned to virtual learning. I was filled with anxiety realizing my parenting skills will be on full display, literally, in a video classroom. It took a couple of days to get my bearings, laying out assignments and expectations. I’m an online student myself, but this is a completely different ballgame, folks.
Thankfully, we are blessed with an amazing tech savvy teacher who knows her way around curriculum and Google supplements for learning. We are also blessed with advanced technology and access through Department of Defense Education Activity schools.
We decided routine is key for Mac, so that was our first priority. We could push wake up time later, but we would keep all our steps the same. We used the same language, prompts, get ready steps and even wearing our school uniform. We called it school at home. Had an organized area with our desktop computer and familiar items, digital clock, pencils and log on information. Using a Velcro tab schedule, we moved from subject to website, which was beneficial as Mac pulled each tab once it was completed.
Mac’s daily team meetings with his teacher, aides and classmates, kept familiarity and he is so excited to see everyone each day.
He has daily Show and Tell with his one on one aide. They are able to share things from home with each other and stay connected.
We use Mac’s favorite item, his treadmill, as morning movement and for break times. It was a great way to keep him active and engaged.
For lunch, we drive to Sonic. Mac requests French fries and drink on his voice (AAC device) just like he does in the cafeteria line at school. He has 45 minutes for lunch in his room as a little reprieve.
After lunch, we do another round of academics at the desk and finish our day with PE. Outdoor activities; bike riding, walking the dog, trash clean up and sometimes exercise equipment inside on rainy days.
Mac has been a champ and doing great with his new virtual school from home.
To all my fellow special needs moms out there, we know it takes a village to raise a child. Although it may feel like it right now, you are not alone. Your village is one text, email and video chat away. Reach out!