Organizing with Kids

Back to School 2020: Tips for Virtual Learning

August 17, 2020

Hello, I'm Rachel
I’m a busy mom, entrepreneur, and an expert in organizing your home, office, and life. I believe in the profound impact of organizing on every aspect of life. 
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Earlier this month I shared my tips for those of you with kids heading back to school for in person learning this year (here). Today we are going to dive in to tips for staying organized if you kids are going to be virtual learning.

Yes, virtual learning has less “risk” involved than in person learning but it is by no means easier. Every family and school district had to make the decision of what works best for them but we know that both styles of learning are going to have their challenges. I truly believe that a little organization can go a long way in helping your family to have a successful school year in 2020.


How to Prepare for Virtual Learning in 2020

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of what your at home school space looks like. Having your physical surroundings organized gives children a head start on being organized and productive with their schoolwork. When a child’s physical surroundings are organized it enables them to do better work, be more productive and feel more engaged. I am a true believer that physical organization leads to mental organization. Now your house doesn’t have to look like a classroom but organization can play a key component on how their schooling feels in the fall – see some of my favorite products to create an organized workspace below.

  • Do your very best to skip the couch. I feel you, the couch is so appealing when I am working from home but creating an actual workspace will result in better work from your kiddos. A desk space or portion of the dining room table will help them transition to mental the headspace for school. Having an actual desk chair (even if it doesn’t match the rest of your dining chairs) is so helpful for their posture and comfort. As a bonus try to avoid as many distractions in this space as possible (I am looking at you TV, video games and baby brother).

  • Set school hours and a daily routine. Organizing a routine and school hours will make a huge impact on your child’s productivity and help to maintain sanity for the entire family as school is being conducted at home. Having a daily schedule to follow and mimic what a “typical” school day might look like will give them times to be organized with their thoughts and actions. For example, school time vs. lunch time and play time. Having a calendar in a central spot in your home for everyone to look at and see the day’s schedule will be extremely beneficial for everyone and keep track of the endless Zoom meetings.

  • Keep items close at hand so your child has everything they need for school. This doesn’t mean you have to change your home’s design or add a permanent fixture, adding in a few organization aids will help keep things on track. Something like this cart that can be wheeled away when not in use is great or even some super budget friendly items like Ziploc containers that you already have in your kitchen are a great way to contain you child’s markers but keep them easily accessible.

  • Headphones are your friend! I don’t know if you have heard a Zoom class of kids trying to find their mute button but having headphones is key for back to school 2020.

  • Use this time to teach kids things they might not learn in school. While you have more time at home with your kids (do you really miss the endless post school driving from activity to activity?) teach them good old life skills. Think how to load the dishwasher, how to balance a checkbook, how to sew on a button, how to set a table and the list goes on. If you have older kids at home that didn’t move into a dorm don’t let them off the hook with the skills they might have learned at college like laundry. I have a discount code to share with you from one of my favorite cleaning brands: Puracy. The Puracy hand sanitizer is, of course, a 2020 staple but they also have great cleaning supplies like laundry detergent, dish soap and a multi-surface cleaner. The Puracy products are high-quality natural products that actually work. Get 20% off your first Puracy purchase through this link with code rachel20.

  • Make the most of your resources. Your kids’ teachers, their school and the district are working their behinds off to make sure this is a successful year full of learning. Lean on them for advice and guidance if something comes up that your family doesn’t know how to tackle. Not only will they have tools like apps or books that you can get for your kids but they are in the classroom year in and year out – anything that might come up in your family has happened before

  • Be ready to adapt. Everyone is learning as they go right now (you, teachers, kids) so being flexibly and adapting to changes throughout the year will be critical.

  • Where will your kids do their virtual learning? No I don’t mean physically in your house but on which device? Do you have enough computers or tablets for everyone’s work from home, school from home needs? Set up a charging station (like this here) in your home so that mornings are streamlined and “my tablets is dead” is not the new “did your pack my lunch”.

  • Zoom, GoogleClassrooms, ABCMouse, oh my! Your WIFI is about to get a workout and even more than the summer of YouTube and Netflix. Check on your internet speed and see if you need an upgrade before the school year starts to make sure it can handle all the learning heading its way.

  • Remember that school isn’t just about learning. Socialization is a big part of what our kids experience at school everyday. Work on scheduling play dates (virtual or socially distant) or creating a group that does school work together (again virtual or socially distant). Find learning apps for your child’s age range that have a social component or even just that they can chat about with their friends each day.

  • Finally, we added this tip to our post on in person learning as well but a little positivity will go a long way. This isn’t the school year anyone envisioned or hope for but looking on the bright side and staying positive will help everyone get have a successful school year.

Favorite Products for Virtual Learning at Home

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

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I'm Rachel, founder of Rachel & Company

I’m dedicated to helping you create a lifestyle that is more organized, sustainable, and joyously livable.

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