Everything this year has been out of the ordinary. COVID-19 forced many students to transition to remote learning beginning mid-March. The learning situation this fall is likely to go the same route as the pandemic continues to affect most of the United States. We know that your children’s education is of utmost importance (along with their safety, of course), so we’ve compiled a list of tips to help them make the most of distance learning.
Know the Curriculum
You can best help your kids by knowing their curriculum. You will see a rundown of everything they need to learn throughout the school year so you can plan ahead. Remember that you will be guiding them as they go through each lesson, so it would help to prepare yourself as well. Doing so can help you set proper expectations and learning goals for your kids.
Keep Them Focused
It may be difficult to keep your kids focused. You can’t expect them to stay focused in front of a computer for long periods. The setting would be completely different from what they are used to, and it’s best to adjust your expectations. Since every family’s experience is unique, consult their school to see the best options to meet their learning needs.
Coordinate Your Own Remote Work
Chances are your work will also be remote. If so, you have to be able to plan your work schedule accordingly together with your children’s school hours. There will be times when their classes will coincide with your work meetings, so you have to be able to devise a plan to oversee their learning while you work. Don’t be intimidated, though, because you can optimize your kids’ learning success by simply providing a pleasant learning environment.
Know Their Learning Style
Determining your kids’ learning styles will also help. Most students will be forced to face a computer screen due to remote learning, so you have to supplement that with another learning method. If your kids are kinesthetic learners, provide them with physical activities to maximize the absorption and retention of information.
Provide a Dedicated Learning Space
A place free of distractions is a pleasant learning environment. Studying at home can be a challenge because it is associated with relaxation, so creating a dedicated workplace would be a smart move. A simple clutter-free desk with their computer can do the job. Just make sure that they are comfortable since they will be spending hours in that space. A pair of good headphones will also help your kids concentrate.
Not all homes will have an extra available room. If this is the case for you, a simple divider may help. Putting partitions on the kitchen table can help your kids focus. Even a simple laptop side-cover can free your kids of distractions. No matter where your kids are in the house, make sure to prepare usual school supplies such as pens, paper, and notebooks so these materials are available as needed.
Setup a ‘Regular Classroom’ Environment
Read physical books as much as you can. This will keep your children from experiencing screen fatigue. They will spend hours on end in front of a computer screen, so a break with actual books will help variate the learning environment. Make use of hard copy packets sent out by your kids’ teachers. It will also help to solve math problems on paper. This simple trick can help them retain the lessons better.
Do as many off-screen learning activities as possible. Take advantage of simple experiments that you can do at home. You can also merge their lessons with practical teachings such as cooking and cleaning. Fill their breaks with physical activities. Staying in front of a computer will get tiring after a while, so make sure to help your children get time away from their computer screens.
Go Back to School Shopping
It’s a fun trick to let your kids wear school clothes. If you can, do some light back to school shopping so your kids will be more excited to face the school year. That way, they have something to look forward to every school day instead of learning in their pajamas. This can make them feel that they are preparing for school and not just staying at home.
Even if you want your kids to feel as comfortable as they can, don’t let them treat this as a vacation. It’s in your best interest to ensure that they make the best of the remote learning environment. Always challenge them to perform the best they can.
Encourage Your Kids to Take Responsibility and Self-Manage
It’s a wonderful time to teach your kids to take responsibility. You might underestimate the power of a schedule, but it is a powerful tool to optimize the chances of your children’s success. Encourage them to plot their schedule and make sure to guide them along the way. They are technically in-charge of their time, so it’s a challenge for them to make use of it efficiently.
The way they manage their requirements and deadlines is a vital precursor to their success. It would be tempting to slack off because everyone works at their own pace, so encourage them to finish requirements on time. Also, make sure to check that their school work is accomplished not only on time but also with a high standard.
While it is crucial to help your kids achieve their full potential, you have to remember that we are facing a challenging time. Learn to accept that you can’t meet all of the standards you’ve previously set. Instead, focus on teaching your children practical lessons that will help them grow to be better persons.
Work with Other Learners or Join Pandemic Pods
Your kids would benefit from working with learners their age. Encourage them to discuss ideas with their classmates via breakout sessions. Exposing them to different perspectives will help them understand their lessons more effectively. It also assures them that they are not alone during these times.
Pandemic pods can also be a powerful tool to maximize your kids’ learning. They can gather with their classmates in a safe and sanitized space to take their lessons together. After their classes, they can brainstorm ideas to accomplish their school work. This is a controversial topic for some, but it’s also the closest thing to a classroom environment. Just make sure to practice social distancing and wear necessary protective equipment. Ensure that the space is perfectly safe for your kids if you do join a pandemic pod.
Make sure to check learning programs in your area. Take advantage of activities from your children’s school or your local library. This pandemic made people realize that it takes a village to raise a child, and stakeholders are doing as much as they can to address the remote learning situation.
Donate to Kids in Need
Now that you have tips for your kids’ needs, it would be nice to help out others. Print out extra learning materials if your resources permit. Not all students have access to computers, so it would help to give them educational resources. If you do have extra school supplies, you might want to donate them to kids in need. Things like extra pens and notebooks can go a long way. Cash donations to your trusted foundations can also help aid many students. Ask your school to see if any of your kids’ classmates need assistance.
Remember that we are in tough times, so you have to approach this with a better understanding. Ease your expectations a bit and focus on your kids’ success. The best thing you can do is to offer them the best resources. One of the best lessons you can teach your children during these trying times is to rise above the adversities of life. It’s essential to see that they are working to the best of their abilities despite the circumstances.
Portland Public Schools will offer computers for students who don’t have one in their homes. More information is available via your kids’ schools. Free school lunch distribution will also resume on September 2. The Oregon Department of Education has submitted the remote learning structure. For the latest news on Portland Public Schools projects, click here: https://www.pps.net/fall2020