There are days in every virtual schooling parent’s life when, for one reason or another, you just have to turn the computer off. Your daughter hasn’t been actually reading any of the material, just staring aimlessly at the screen. In spite of your best efforts to block them, your son has spent more time on the game websites than he has actually completing schoolwork. You’re fed up and over it, and the only way you foresee it getting any better—short of you sitting over their shoulder every single minute of every single day, when you really would rather be doing other things while they work.
Unfortunately, their schoolwork is all on the computer. Half of the lessons, assessments, and even their classes are online. Getting a virtual schooled child off of the computer is something like pulling teeth, and it’s even less pleasant.
There is, however, good news: there are lessons that don’t require the use of the computer at all. For elementary school students, there are two entire science units that don’t require going online for more than instructions. All literature lessons, grammar lessons, and spelling lessons have primarily offline components. You might need to let them log online to take an assessment or two along the way, but other than that, they can complete their work offline.
Take advantage of those lessons. Save them, if possible—though obviously you must complete their schoolwork in the order that their virtual teachers expect in order to keep them on track with the rest of the class. On the other hand, completing them a bit early just means that they end up reviewing a little bit further down the road, and most teachers will understand it if you simply can’t allow your child to use the computer for a day or two.
While your student is spending time offline, encourage them to find other ways to spend their time—and discuss the reasons for these offline days. Many times, a genuine, honest discussion will be enough to make your child think twice, at least for a day or two—and if it doesn’t, at least they know exactly what to expect when they return to their usual practices.