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Tools and Lessons from School-at-Home

During this #StayHomeStaySafe time, in which we’ve had to take on a much larger role in supporting our 12-year-old soon through the current school-at-home scenario, we’re finding ourselves using a lot of new tools and learning new lessons. Here’s a list of some of the things we’re currently using, and lessons learned:

📱 iPad or 💻 Laptop

One (or both) of these devices is necessary for us to manage and access all of the school-required apps and programs. Thankfully, we’ve been able to dedicate an iPad for his use with schoolwork, which makes it a little bit easier. We’ve also set him up as a user on the laptop so that when he logs in, the web browser is logged in as him, has his Favorites/Bookmarks saved, etc.

🔑 LastPass

This is the app that we use as a family to manage all of the logins (both the parents’ and our son’s) for the school-required apps and programs.

📧 Gmail

Our son has a school-assigned email address that runs on Google’s Gmail. Like most (all?) 12-year-olds I know, he doesn’t have the executive skills to successfully manage an email account on his own. We as parents are copied on some of the school-related emails, but not all of them, including some assignments, schedules for online group meetings, and more. So we’ve added our son’s school email address to our own devices so we can stay updated on what is required of him.

🗂 RenWeb/FACTS Parent Portal

Used by parents to check on the student’s grades, assignment completion, etc.

🗂 RenWeb/FACTS Student Portal

Used by the student (with their own login) to check grades, assignment completion, etc.

🗂 RenWeb/FACTS Learning Management System (LMS)

Used by the student (with their own login) to access and complete assignments, chat with the teacher, etc.

🗣 Google Hangouts/Meets

Used for discussions with teachers, other students, group meetings, etc.

🎧 Headphones

Necessary for both the student’s and the parents’ productivity and sanity.

📄 Google Docs

Necessary for some assignments. This must be accessed from the student’s Google account.

📄 Google Forms

Used by some teachers for quizzes, to get feedback, etc. This must be accessed from the student’s Google account.

📹 Screencast

Used by teachers to provide video recordings of lessons.

🎥 YouTube

Used by teachers as a resource to provide videos related to lessons and assignments.


Used for math lessons and assignments.

⚗️ Edgenuity

Used for science lessons and assignments.

🏙 SpellingCity

Used for spelling words and lists.


Used for quizzes.

📖 Verses

Used (by Christian school students) for weekly verse memorization and quizzes.

📚 Textbooks

Yep, we still have to use textbooks, too.

🖨 Printer

Some assignments are email attachments that have to be printed off. And we’ve found we work better as a family when we can print the weekly lesson plans and check them off as we go.

📶 Internet access

Very little of the above works without good internet access (Wi-Fi and/or cellular)

And I wonder why our productivity in every other area has taken a hit…

Posted on 2020-04-25   #School  

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