Like most moms, I was overwhelmed by how QUICKLY we transitioned to virtual learning. Realizing my parenting skills will be on full display, literally, in a video classroom, anxiety kicked in. It took a couple of days to get my bearings, laying out assignments and expectations. I’m an online student myself, but this is an entirely different ballgame, folks.
Thankfully, Mac has a great tech-savvy teacher who knows her way around the curriculum and Google supplements for learning. Also, we have advanced technology and access through the Department of Defense Education Activity schools.
We decided routine is vital for Mac, so that was our priority. We could push wake up time later, but we would keep all our steps the same. We used the same language, prompts, and even wearing our school uniform. We called it “school at home.” Created an organized area with a desktop computer and familiar items; digital clock, pencils, and log on information. Using a Velcro tab schedule, we moved from subject to the website, pulling the tab completing each assignment.
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 Tells with his one on one aide. They can 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 drinks 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!