Parents have played a much larger role in their children’s learning, while navigating the stressors of work, home life and a global pandemic. Understandably, parents are feeling a great deal of uncertainty. With many students facing a summer of “catch up” and many fall school schedules still in limbo, how can parents balance distance learning and their own work-from-home schedules at the same time?
1. Understand Your Role
Parents are not expected to take the place of their students’ school teachers. Instead, parents should play a support role. A good rule of thumb is to keep your children engaged and thinking critically. Even though staying home from school might feel like a holiday, remind your children that they are not on vacation.
2. Make Space for Learning
Your children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space devoted to learning. Ideally, this will be a different space than where they normally play games or watch television.
3. Set Clear Expectations
Parents should build time into their remote work day to assist with their students’ learning and schedule other activities they know their three children will be able to do independently. Consider scheduling “office hours” when you’re available for school-related questions.
4. Encourage Reading
When in doubt, have your children read. When you have time, read with them. For younger readers, consider using audio books. If you can’t do anything else, have your children read!
5. Plan your Work and Work your Plan
Good planning can relieve stress for both children and parents. Check-in with your kids about their plans and help them develop a written schedule not only for the day, but for the week. Help them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks, and deadlines, just like adults do when they go to work.
6. Show Empathy
Allow yourself, your children, and their teachers some latitude and grace during these unprecedented times. Understand you are not going to have all the answers and this transition is not going to be perfect. Acknowledge this is not an ideal situation for anyone and give yourself permission to be flexible.
7. Use Supplemental Resources
Utilize any and all available resources to enhance independent learning, such as online games, education videos, educational TV (KETN), audio books, or virtual field trips.
8. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
It is rare for parents and children to have this much time together, so turn it into an opportunity for bonding. Remember, your relationship with your child is what’s most important at this time.
9. Ask for Help
Remember that you’re not alone in this journey. For parents working with multi-aged children, take a team approach and ask older siblings to help support younger students. Don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher for tips and guidance. Additionally, reach out to other parents to see what they’ve found effective.
10. Take Regular Digital Recesses
Make sure your children take plenty of breaks from computers in order to get time away from screens. Set alarms similar to those students would encounter at school and encourage them to get up, get some fresh air, have a snack and participate in physical activities.
(Source: Kern County Superintendent of Schools)