I am both a teacher and a mother. Although I am currently out of the classroom I see how distance learning is affecting my school aged son. He is at the age where socialization is key. I am writing this guide to distance learning from the parent lens. I will be sharing some ideas to help with distance learning and some things to watch for.
Mental and Emotional Health
Keep an eye on your children’s mental and emotional health. Quarantine hasn’t been easy on anyone. Many children are struggling in this department. They are missing their friends, their routine, sports, and so on. If you notice they are struggling be their lifeline. Maybe they need some help with an assignment, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Your children are more important than the tasks they have to complete.
If you notice your child is struggling with school tasks reach out to the teacher. The teacher can’t fix what he or she doesn’t know is a problem. Perhaps your child’s teacher can offer some ways to help your child or alternatives to some assignments.
Blocks of Time and Balance
To prevent overwhelm create blocks of time for certain tasks. Find a schedule that works for your family. Some things to include are:
- get ready for the day
- active play/fitness
- rest time
- clean up and chores
- social- time to communicate with friends
Many children need structure in their lives. Creating a schedule is a way to give them security in knowing what to expect.
I created a quick schedule for my kids using PowerPoint and a pocket chart. I made a strip for each of the tasks I wanted to include.
Then I grabbed a magnetic pocket chart and stuck it to the refrigerator.
I chose a smaller pocket chart so we could do a half day at a time. My kids and I sit down in the morning and plan out until lunch/rest time. After rest we sit down again and schedule the rest of the day.
Just because you are all stuck under the same roof doesn’t mean you have to be together all the time. I noticed my own children losing their independence during the quarantine. Try to find a balance of things you work on together and alone time. Start small and work your way up.
Create a Workspace for your Child
Your child’s workspace doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy! It should be quiet, well lit, comfortable, and have the materials nearby that they will need for assignments. If the kitchen table is this space for you, go for it! Having a designated work space will help your children separate school time from home time.
Must Do Tasks
Create a list of must do tasks for each day. Things on this list can be:
- brush teeth
- walk the dog
- take out the trash
- make your bed
- school work
- read a book for 15 minutes
Keep Your Kids Safe Online
Our children are spending more time on the internet due to COVID. Make sure they are being safe. Many devices allow for parental controls. You are able to block certain websites from your computer. Most importantly check in with your children and see what they are doing.
I hope you found this parent guide to distance learning helpful. We all have the same ultimate goal: what is best for our children. If you’re interested in reading more about this topic check out these blog posts: