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The New Norm This Fall: Tips for Co-Parenting While Weathering the Storm of Virtual Online Learning


We are all entering the brave new world of virtual online learning, and to be truthful, we don’t know how much longer it is going to last. If you are trying to navigate this new normal and joint custody in Atlanta, you are fighting some pretty tough battles. At Buckhead Family Law, we believe the best thing that parents who don’t live together can do to ensure that this is still a positive learning experience is to act as a team in every situation – after all, that is what joint custody is all about.

So, how do you juggle co-parenting, online learning, and the rest of your life all at once? Here are a few of our best tips and tricks to help navigate the ever-changing world of virtual online learning together:

Get on The Same Page About School in General

Schools are trying all kinds of scheduling for the fall (which are subject to change and may get messy and chaotic), so you need to be on the same page when it comes to what you want your kids to do. One parent cannot be a vocal proponent of going full-time back to school while the other is pushing for online schooling. If you have options, explore them together and ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak their mind about which is the better choice before making the decision together as a cohesive, co-parenting “family.”

Try to Follow the Same Schedules

Another way to bridge the gap between joint custody and virtual online learning is to ensure that everyone is on the same daily schedule for virtual learning. As increased virtual learning allows students to create their own schedules, everyone should have the same idea of what this pre-determined schedule looks like and try to keep it consistent each day, even in separate households. If you want your child to get more sleep, maybe that means they begin their day a little later. If your child is an early riser, maybe it means starting school at an earlier time. The key is that everyone is on the same page and you establish a consistent routine, even though your child is not in a typical structured classroom setting.  Establishing this schedule will help parents that are working from home now, too.

It’s most beneficial to create a schedule that everyone has access to and can easily adhere to. Keep it simple, and create a unique schedule for every child. For example:


8:00 Wake Up & Eat Breakfast
9:00 Review What Needs to Be Done & Ensure Homework Is Handed In
10:00 Take A Break for Some Physical Activity
11:00 Work on Specials (Art, Music, etc.)
11:45 Math
12:30 Lunch
1:15 English/Reading
2:00 History
2:45 Science
3:30 Ensure All Work Is Finished & Wind Down
5:00 Dinner
6:00 Family Time


It may take a week or so to figure out what order of events and blocks of time work best for your child, but adhering to a schedule will create the consistency necessary for daily learning to take place. You might want to think about your own schedule (yes, your schedule matters, too) to see what will align with your schedule as well, then create a basic schedule, and compare it to the other parent’s schedule for full transparency.

Maintain Open Lines of Communication

Of course, the most important component of this entire equation is having an open line of communication with the other parent. Flexibility throughout this process will be key. You need to openly discuss changing schedules, what’s happening in school, daily challenges that arise, and consults with your child’s teachers. It will be a little more difficult as your children get older if they don’t tell you as much, so establishing clear communication with them as well will be a huge help in the long run.

The next few months (or maybe even longer) are going to be both interesting and challenging as we all try to navigate virtual online learning – and it will prove even harder if you are trying to figure out how to manage joint custody simultaneously. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate this alone. At Buckhead Family Law, our experienced legal team can help you build a custody agreement that works for your family and ensures you remain an active part of your child’s life and learning. The Atlanta child custody lawyers at Buckhead Family Law are here to assist you with your case and help this be a positive turning point for your family. Schedule a consultation by calling at 404-600-1403.

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