How to get your remote learning act together for fall

Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY

Kids aren't the only ones dreading another semester of online classes.

Parents have pretty much been struggling with adjusting to the "new normal" of online school during the pandemic era. While you're on a conference call for work in your dining room, your kids are engaging in a 30-person Zoom session in the next room. Are you prepared for the next few months of chaos? Probably not, but we're here to help you through round two. 

USA TODAY consulted with four homeschooling experts to help parents transform their home into a more ideal classroom environment. What can you buy to optimize your kid's academic performance? How can you help them through this experience? Scroll through to see what tips and tricks can help you get your remote learning act together for kids of all ages. 

You don't want your kid taking a class from bed. Prakash Nair, an expert in the design of modern learning spaces, suggests setting up a desk with room for a laptop, writing area and comfortable ergonomic chair. Parents can also help kids decorate their space with their favorite photos and posters.

Start a socially distant study group

Your kid might be missing their 30-person history class now that many in-person courses are online. Try replicating the socialization experience of school by gathering five or six kids from the neighborhood to take their online classes together. They can sit six feet apart outside on the front lawn, or social distance indoors in a large living room. Don't let them forget their masks.

Jamie Heston, a Homeschool Consultant and Board Member for the Homeschool Association of California, cautions to only attempt this with children who can realistically abide by social distancing guidelines. 

Take a break from the screen

How do you limit screen time when school is online? Lee Binz, an expert in homeschooling for high school students, says transferring online assignments to paper worksheets is an effective learning strategy.

"Online education is proven ineffective, and frustrating to students and teachers like," she says. "Have them read real books, and practice math and writing skills on paper and pencil whenever possible."