Remote Learning Tips for Parents and Students
This has been a challenging time for parents and children alike. With many schools returning to remote learning, the struggle to keep kids engaged and advancing continues. As parents, you’re tasked with helping them through these tough times. To help, we’ve put together some suggestions to guide you and your children through the unique challenges of distance learning.
Six Tips for Parents to Help Your Children with Remote Learning
Staying organized is an important part of remote learning. Luckily, there are many tools we can use to keep us organized and help replicate the feeling of school at home. Here are some suggestions to make the most of at-home school learning.
Create a Daily and Weekly Schedule
Keeping organized with a schedule is vital for parents who are juggling their job and their child’s school day. Online calendars can be shared by multiple people, helping parents and students to be on the same page. Pop-up notifications through an online calendar can be a lifesaver for busy parents. Notifications make it easy for students to click the link they need for their class at the right time.
It’s wise for parents to communicate the critical times in their daily schedule when they may not be available for help unless it is urgent. Maintaining a solid routine through the day also helps to manage anxiety.
Students won’t always be right in front of the computer to see a notification through email. Parents can set up what would be the equivalent to a school bell through a variety of resources. The sound of the “bell” can alert the student when class is about to begin.
Smart phones and tablets are equipped to set up an alarm with a customized ring to let children know when class is about to begin. You can also use smart technology through Alexa or Google to indicate when a class or a break commences.
Bookmarks and Passwords
No matter if it’s only one school website or five frequently visited webpages, bookmarking them saves time and ensures your child knows exactly where to go. Often, students have multiple different login names and passwords that they need to remember. It’s important to keep this critical list of information in an easily accessible location.
Students should have a distraction-free area where they can attend class. Whenever possible, it’s great to be seated at a desk with a comfortable chair.
Because it is challenging to pay attention all day in class, parents should allow flexibility to children if they prefer another arrangement. To break up the monotony of the day, students may benefit by standing during class with their computer on a dresser, or by sitting on a pillow with their laptop on the coffee table. A change of location can help children to feel more stimulated.
Folders and Files
Parents should ensure their child has folders set up on the computer to store their files in an organized fashion. Remember, students may need help with naming their files for easy reference in the future. Teaching children to include the class name and/or the date could be beneficial in case the file does not get sorted in the correct folder.
Use Two Screens
Students sometimes have difficulty toggling between multiple tabs and apps if they are needed during a class. Having one screen for the video of the teacher and another screen to do work can be useful. Sometimes students may inadvertently close out of a window during class or have difficulty seamlessly moving where they need to go on a device. Connecting their computer to an external monitor can help keep them organized and allow them to pay complete attention to the teacher.
Four Coping Strategies for Students
Parents are not the only ones who need support during this time. Students really miss the social interactions they get from school and their friends. Here are four ways to help students stay positive and engaged with remote learning.
Exercise is one of the best ways for children to reduce stress and prevent anxiety. During breaks, encourage children to move their body to recharge their energy. If there’s enough time and weather permits, it’s great to go outside and get some fresh air like they would in recess.
Even on quick breaks, it’s good to stretch and get the blood flow going by doing jumping jacks or dancing to a favorite song. Trampolines are increasing in popularity because they’re a fun and convenient way to exercise.
Encourage children to call their new classmates and their old friends after school to create and maintain the essential social connection they normally get during the school day. Establishing a relationship with new classmates can become a valuable resource when your child is asked to do group work.
Children miss the social aspect of seeing friends, and it is a very important component to their development. Encourage them to connect via video call or over the phone after school hours to continue developing their friendships.
Make time to be creative each day by organizing an art class at home. While there are many apps out there, it’s best for children to have opportunities to take a break from screens. Doing a tangible activity like making origami, a clay sculpture, or even building something with Legos will develop fine motor skills and add fun into the day.
Enrolling your child in a program like Kumon can also help themadvance more quickly, helping them to excel in school. This can leave them with extra time to pursue their passions after school, allowing them to explore other areas like art or coding.
Allow a Small Toy
Sitting in front of a screen can be challenging for students all day. They may need to doodle on a piece of paper or keep their hands moving. Allow students to hold something to play with during class. A fidget spinner, a squeeze ball, or a small toy helps students to stay engaged without being distracting. However, parents should do their best to not allow students to surf the web or go on social media during class as that will truly take their attention away from their learning.
Keep Things in Perspective
Remember, you can’t control everything. While remote school can certainly be challenging, your child’s friends and peers are in the same situation. By staying organized and coming up with a plan, you can make the most of distance learning. For more remote learning strategies, check out our back-to-school series.