Distance Learning Preparation
To help parents prepare for and navigate distance learning with their children, we're offering tips and strategies as part of an ACADEMIC MOTIVATION blog series through September. The following six articles cover different aspects of preparing for a successful distance learning experience. Stay tuned for ideas from local experts and educators and don't forget to check out Raising Resilience's online parent support program, CONNECTIONS CAFE. Slides from our latest Back to School session are now available on the page and you access the video through our Library Video page.
1. Manage Your Expectations
“…cut yourself a break. This is a historic interruption of education. Don’t expect things to go perfectly. The distance-learning era may even have some benefits. It is a time for meaningful learning. The pandemic will likely have a lasting impact on this generation and will influence the lives of our children and their relationship to the world. If we can come out of this with children who are more thoughtful, more connected to their families and more concerned for others, what a gift that would be.”
2. Let Your Child’s Teacher Know How Your Child Learns
“Here’s how to get more involved without spending all day monitoring classwork, hiring expensive tutors, or losing sleep while wracked with guilt that we are failing our children……
Once you figure out how your child learns, you need to communicate to teachers that you want clearer expectations and goal posts for your kids.”
3. Homeschooling? Know What’s Expected and Tap into Resources
Click here for an overview of the laws regarding home-schooling your child
“You are not on island with your family alone. You are surrounded by resources. Scholastic has a fee-based service. Google is even getting in on the education game, compiling a list of teacher-approved apps, “Today” reported.”
4. Build in Social Engagement Opportunities
“The pandemic has made it clear to many parents that it really does take a village to raise a child. (Chris Rim, the CEO of Command Education) recommends that parents lean into that as much as possible to prep for the 2020-2021 school year, thinking ahead about ways their child might be able to get more support from fellow students or friends. "Don't shy away from asking for help," he advises.
This might look like working with the school to match your child with an older student who can help virtually tutor them in a particular subject they struggle with, or encouraging your child to do their schoolwork with friends over FaceTime or Zoom. "You can reach out to other parents and students to schedule weekly homework dates or study dates," says Rim. "Social opportunities are one of the main losses students will suffer from continuing remote learning."
5. Get Your Kids Moving and Manage Distractions
1. Encourage movement. “Kids need to move their bodies frequently throughout the day. Allow time for exercise before your child is expected to focus on a distance learning task. Some children are able to better focus on tasks when standing. Consider having your computer or tablet be on a raised surface so that your child can stand.”
2. Reduce distractions. “Where possible, reduce distractions when your child is completing schoolwork. This includes noise as well as visual noise or clutter. A designated workspace that is comfortable for your child will be helpful.”
6. Practice Resilience
“As students head back to school this fall with the possibility of hybrid learning models and rolling school closures, educators and parents will play an important role in helping to “inoculate us against the intolerable stress of the scary, uncertain world we now live in,” she writes. Cantor suggests adults focus on a new take on the “Three Rs”: relationships, routines, and resilience. - Dr. Pamela Cantor
…families can help by encouraging teamwork and creative problem-solving, celebrating successes, and modeling healthy strategies for managing anxiety and stress. Guiding kids so they develop the ability to recognize their emotions and strengthen their resilience during distance learning will help prepare them for the return to physical school in the new year.”
For local parent support resources, visit our Parent Support Resources page.