My Genius Idea for Making Virtual School Easier… On Me

Okay, “genius” might be a teensy bit of a stretch… but I had an idea. Actually, it was more like AN IDEA. And it was such a good idea that if I were in a cartoon, a light bulb would have lit up over top my head.

One of my main peeves with online schooling was that I was trying to make sure Jack logged in at various times, while I’m also working from home with my own meetings and phone calls throughout the day. My fear was that I’d get caught up in my work and then he’d totally miss an entire class.

Some people have mentioned that they use an Alexa or similar system to set a series of reminders throughout the day. We don’t have an Alexa though, and I have no interest in getting one.

That’s when the genius idea struck: I need an old cellphone!

I didn’t have any working old cellphones around the house, so I checked out eBay and bought an iPhone 4 for just $20. FYI, that is MUCH cheaper than buying an Alexa or even purchasing a multi alarm clock.

It arrived a few days later and I spent about 10 minutes getting it fully set-up for Jack:

  • I hid every single app in a ‘miscellaneous’ folder, except for the ones he will be using.
  • I pinned the Clock app, Camera app, Photos app, and Safari search app to the main toolbar on the home screen.
  • I downloaded a Mario background for his home screen and a Pokemon background for his lock screen.
  • I set up an alarm for every time he needed to log into virtual school throughout the day, including when to log in to do attendance and an alarm to go off 5 minutes before each class starts.

AND… it’s working out perfectly! As soon as each alarm goes off, Jack runs directly to his laptop to log in ON HIS OWN. That alone is worth the $20! As a bonus, Jack loves that he can take photos with his very own phone and has even started searching the internet for video game related stuff (and yes, I told him that mommy can see all his searches in case he gets a bit sneaky).

There is no monthly fee, because I don’t plan on hooking it up for any phone or texting service. However, I have connected the phone to our home wifi (which is free to do) so that Jack can use the internet at home.

I can not tell you how much easier this has made the whole virtual learning struggle. Especially because Jack will be spending some days home with daddy and some days at his grandmother’s house. This way, I can make sure that he has the tools he needs to be more independent with logging in!

Did you find this tip helpful? How do you keep your kiddo on schedule with virtual schooling?

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