Tips for Distance Learning

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Academic Concerns

HOLD A FAMILY MEETING:
  Family planning is key.  Talk to your children about this 'new normal,' and communicate with them that while they may be at home, there are still assignments that must be completed in a timely manner.  Since your child is coming from a structured school environment, structure is important for both them and you. CREATE A DAILY SCHEDULE:  Students need structure!!!!!  Many routine activities are now disrupted, and that's going to be an emotional process for everyone. Your child may fight it, but a consistent schedule will be essential to distance learning success.  Many teachers have created a daily schedule or checklist for you to follow. Feel free to use that one, or create one that works best for your family’s needs. Decide on a daily schedule together as a team.  Let the students help plan it, so they have some ownership in their new routine. 

CREATE A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT:  Help students create their own work space.  You may find a rotation works well for different subjects.  Art may be at the kitchen table, while reading may be in a comfy chair in the living room.  When it gets nice outside, have some lessons on the patio. Moving around to different locations will help students who need to move about more frequently.
PARENTS WORKING FROM HOME: Working from home and assisting your child with their school work will no doubt be a challenge. A daily visual schedule may be helpful for your child to see when you are available to help them. For younger students, a visual prompt might work better. Example: "If I have my hat on I am able to assist you. When my hat is off, I need you to wait until I am free." You could also have an item on or off your workspace, the door closed or open, etc.
LIVE LESSONS:  Whenever possible, have your child participate in the live learning sessions that your teacher provides.  This way your child can see and hear their classmates, as well as ask questions and get clarification from the teacher.  This is a great way to stay connected.

REACH OUT TO TEACHERS: If you have questions don't be afraid to reach out to your child's teachers!

DEVELOP INCENTIVES:  Some students are self-motivated, but some may need an incentive to complete their work .  Remember school work can be frustrating for many children, so breaking tasks into chunks may be helpful.  Some children need an incentive often, and others can wait until the end of the day, week or month. Check out the Staying Motivated link on my webpage.

BE FLEXIBLE:  Give yourself a break.  We are ALL doing this distance learning for the first time.  We are nervous on so many levels. It will take a couple weeks to iron out the kinks, so be patient with your child, their teachers and yourself.  Don’t be afraid to change things up for your child if you find something that works well for them. No one has answers as to how this will work, so we’re all learning together. HAVE FUN: This experience is going down in the history books.  Try to stay positive and think of it as a VERY unique opportunity, that we hope only happens once in a lifetime!!  Be creative and laugh together when things don’t go quite like you planned.