This month I’m doing a 3 part series the 1st 3 Wednesdays of the Insights Blog to help you plan, set up, and schedule remote school in a way that keeps you sane, lets you work too, and keeps your kids learning.
Also check out:
Part 2: Failproof set up
Part 3: Remote Learning Schedules that keep you Sane
Today’s post is Series 1 and is all about getting organized for the school year with using planning tools for scheduling.
On August 12th I will walk you through your must-have supplies and remote school set up
On August 19th I will provide sample schedules for all ages to preserve whatever sanity you have left these days
Now, let’s get psyched about planning in today’s post!
Did you know National Planner Day is a thing? Yup, it is and it is on August 1st! So better late than never to seize the month of August to plan for remote schooling!
Even if you don’t have children, I’m sure you’ve seen the heated (flamethrower worthy) posts on social media regarding “going back to school.” Between teachers, parents, and teachers who are parents, it’s ugly out there in the remote school jungle.
I think we need to be mindful of our attitudes, especially what we are projecting on our children, who, most of the time are helpless in this matter. Some schools are going back full time, some are going back part-time and part-time remote. Then there’s the all remote option which puts at least 1 parent in the role of the full-time teacher in the home space.
I worked in the educational system for a while and I can’t imagine the stress of educational employees right now. As a parent, I can tell you my anxieties are just as high as anyone else in the tough decision whether or not for our kids to return to school.
I’m not writing this to put out my opinion either way (sorry not sorry trolls). I feel comfortable with my decision and feel no need to post it here. However, I will say: If you are deciding to send your child back to school or not, I know it was a tough family decision and not an easy one.
So how can we best plan for the school year knowing that at least part of it will be remote?
The secret is: Get Organized!!! Trust me…I may not have the patience required for remote learning as a teacher while also running my business, but I am organized and can say that has saved me these past few months!
Especially if you are still working from home, now is the time to start to prepare and organize for remote schooling. Order planning supplies online now (since orders are taking longer than usual) and start prepping your kids for what to expect come September.
We’ve got weird block schedules that are different for each of your kids, yourself…A/B, A/B/C, ½ day remote, all remote, it’s insane. Insane! Before you visit the boxed wine you have on tap now in your kitchen, let me help you get on top of this craziness. Let’s go!
Here are my top planning supplies I recommend for the coming year by age:
I feel you. Keeping track of remote work, assignments, and online meetings for your kids is tough. Add in your work schedule or just upkeep your home and it’s a miracle that you shower and put food on the table, let alone put on pants!
Here are the planning tools I recommend just for you!…
*Any links on this page should be assumed part of affiliate programming
Smead Cascading Wall Organizer, 6 Pockets, Letter Size, Gray/Bright Pockets
This thing is amazing! For the school year and summer school, I printed out any worksheets and other paper assignments and used each pocket for each school day. You could also use a pocket for each child. When school’s out you could use it for important documents, mail, coupons, whatever! The best part is you can also fold it up completely when you aren’t using it.
Bloom daily planners 2020-2021 Academic Year Desk/Wall Monthly Calendar Pad
I’m a digital girl, however, I love this giant desk calendar because it is in my face! I used it primarily for remote school, so I have an idea of what to expect each day (show and tell, dress-up day, assignments due, etc.)
If you are old fashioned and prefer a paper planner, this is easy on the eyes and has both monthly and weekly planning tools.
Frustrated trying to manage your family with a digital calendar? This is the answer! I love using my Google Calendar, however, it doesn’t have the checklists I need for projects. Remote school, managing my business all require more than a calendar can provide. Insert Meistertask where you can create checklists, chat with other family members who are part of projects (such as your kid’s travel soccer team), assign people to tasks and mark them complete when finished.
Note for business peeps/entrepreneurs: The business version of Meistertask allows for timelines, time tracking, and other features. You can create multiple projects, so maybe one is “Work” and another project is “Home.” Then you can manage both in one place!
Use the code: LDBA if you decide to upgrade your account for a discount
Yes, your pre-school to first grader needs to start learning how to read a calendar and stay on a schedule. It’ll be important for their future time management and your sanity. No one wants their kids screaming to go swimming in the pool because they don’t understand the difference between the weekend and a school day. Insert the following age-appropriate calendar:
Daily Magnetic Calendar Preschool Learning
This calendar will help them understand the month, day of the week, weather, the feelings, etc. All they need to know right now. I like this one because you can keep reusing it and the visual cues help your child understand the meaning.
For our older elementary school folks who can read and write and are beyond the concepts of the previous calendar, I recommend visual aids and schedules. It’s easy for the younger crowd to avoid digital tools or simply forget that there are there. They need a reminder right in front of them as a cue. I recommend the following…
This desk calendar is large and in charge. It creates a visual cue for your student to know what to expect each week, practice writing their assignments, and crossing off what is complete. Depending on how far ahead of their teacher plans, they could plan out the following weeks as well knowing what to expect.
Neutral: 2020-2021 Student Planner – Academic Planner
This planner is more traditional, however, it provides stickers for tests, etc. and again is a good visual cue for your student who can easily ignore online tools for planning.
This calendar gives a visual cue for those who are savvy and consistent with primarily digital calendars/tools they use online.
You would think that those students in middle/high school could easily use a digital calendar for planning, however, I have found that most teenagers still need a paper planner as a visual cue. There is science behind this as their prefrontal cortex that controls decision making isn’t fully developed yet making it easy to “forget” the process of checking which assignments are due and making the decision to complete them. The following planners have convenient academic stickers and come in a variety of styles:
When your planning tools arrive, make time to go over how to use them with your kids. The younger they are, the more they will need “refreshers” each day. You can ask them to set up their day on their own and see how far they get and within the first week, they will no longer need your help. This is the point, we want them to understand and manage their calendars so you don’t have to. All you need to do is manage your own and check their calendars are being followed.
Independence for the win!