A couple working from home with two children not yet school-aged; A single mom of two high schoolers; Another couple, one parent working outside the home, the other working from home with a kindergartener and an infant.

We’re DTE employees and there are thousands of us who, like many of you, are trying to figure out work-life balance, with virtual school and daycare closures.

Whether the classroom will be at a table in your kitchen or a desk in the bedroom, preparing for online learning is essential for getting the school year off on the right track.

There’s still a week or two left before school starts for many Michigan families, and that’s plenty of time to plan for a successful school year.

Here are 7 tips to help you get ready:

  1. Identify a work space – A hard surface for writing, markers and pencils, a sturdy surface for computers – whatever their needs are, make sure they have all the necessities in one place. Setup shop in a low traffic area of the house to limit distractions and make it comfortable; they’ll be sitting there for a while.


  1. Check your internet speeds – Make sure your current internet plan can handle the increase in usage without lagging. Check with you school on minimum requirements for your Internet access.


  1. Update your technology – Whatever device your student will be using should up to date with the necessary software and programs.


  1. Learn to navigate – For parents of younger children, start teaching them now how to navigate the school’s online platforms. Post usernames and passwords in their workspace so they’re easily accessible.
  2. Meal prep – Pre-pack snack and lunches just as you would if you child(ren) were leaving home to go to school. It saves time and helps to avoid last minute mishaps. If your kids were used to buying lunch at school, pickup their favorite school snacks from the local grocery store.


  1. Find time to connect – If your schedule allows, pause your work and eat lunch with your student. It’s the perfect time to connect during the work/school day. If you student has extended breaks in their schedule, free yourself up during those times to check-in and offer assistance.


  1. Talk to other parents – This is new for many of us. We can help each other by sharing ideas and supporting one another.