5 Ways to make virtual school less stressful for everyone

So we are back at virtual school... again. Can I get a collective "UGH!!!!!"

Our son did all of second grade last year virtually, so you can imagine my utter relief when he returned to in-person school this past September (my work, and sanity, were waning). And here we are, back to online learning.

Our one major advantage: been there, done that. I knew how to prepare. And I wanted to share 5 ways to make virtual school less stressful for everyone:

- Make snacks and lunches ahead of time. When kids are on "break" and have their lunch hour, preparing food in the moment can waste valuable time. Just as you'd pack your kids their food the night before, it's a good idea to do the same with virtual school.

- Have a routine in place. Even though kids aren't trekking out the door and physically going to school, they still need a schedule. Bedtimes and wake-up alarms should remain the same, and they need to get up and prep the same way by getting dressed and brushing their teeth. The same goes for after-school routines.

- Get outside. Kids have two recesses for a reason: they need to get fresh air and move around. My kid goes outside for every recess, no matter what the weather.

- Avoid screentime during school hours. This might seem hard in theory, but kids will find great ways to stay occupied during downtime at virtual school. They can read, draw, play, build, etc. And it will avoid arguments about when things like TVs and video games need to be shut off.

- Don't put pressure on yourself or your child. This is unchartered territory. It's very difficult for kids to stay engaged and attentive on a screen. And teachers know this. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with your child. And be grateful and kind to your child's teachers.

A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.