back to school lunch

How to Succeed at Virtual Learning

Sep 4, 2020

It’s finally back-to-school season and, chances are, this year is probably looking a little different from years past for most Gateway families. As many schools in New York City begin the move to remote or hybrid options, parents and kids alike are searching for ways to adjust to virtual modes of learning. We promise it can be done! Read ahead for five tips for helping you and your child succeed at online learning this school year.  

Limit Distractions

Attending class virtually may mean learning in home environments that affect a child’s ability to concentrate. Help your child limit distractions by turning off all devices not needed for online learning and checking in to make sure they are logged out of social media applications while in class. This Teach Thought article suggests that setting up a designated work space can also help with reducing the potential for distraction.


Find Routine

Some of what makes this period so challenging is the need to readjust to our ever-shifting “new normal.” One way to help mitigate this is by incorporating some of the day-to-day routines you would typically follow during the school year. Mommy Shorts blog recommends a simple task like packing a lunch every day for kids; better yet, she suggests teaching them how to pack it themselves! Maintaining small habits like this will help lighten the caregiving responsibility for parents, while also creating a sense of normalcy for kids.

Take Breaks 

The amount of screen time required for virtual learning can be draining for some students. Building in breaks throughout the day is helpful for restoring focus and ensuring your child doesn’t experience burn out. This USA Today article suggests taking small “brain breaks” and building in a bit of exercise for kids throughout the day to help them blow off steam and re-center.

Build Time Management Strategies

Setting a schedule for your child’s day is essential for succeeding at online learning. Determining how and when your child learns best will be useful for creating a schedule that is most in sync with their learning habits. Perhaps your child learns best in the morning, so the bulk of school work should be done early in the day. Take time to observe what works best for your kids so that together you can create a schedule that meets everyone’s needs.


Connect with Outside Resources

Fortunately, there are many online tools for helping kids and parents navigate virtual learning right now. Bump Club and Beyond compiled this list of the best education apps and supplemental learning materials available online for assisting in remote education. 

Additionally, now may be a great time to call on other kids and families who find themselves in similar school scenarios. Connecting virtually with fellow students and friends outside of class time is great for maintaining socialization and mental wellbeing. Chatting with other parents online can also be a useful way to share tips and find help from others experiencing the same kinds of changes to the school year.


We’re all in this together at Gateway. Let us know what we can do to help support remote learning for you and your family. And tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share your first day of school pics with us!