5 Tips to Support Virtual Learning
By now, most children, parents and resource parents are braving a new school year – one that is unlike any in recent history. Without in-class instruction, parents and resource parents have the added responsibility to guide their children’s academics. But despite the inherent challenges of virtual learning, there are still practices parents and resource parents can use that are just as relevant today as they were in years past. Remember, virtual learning is still new to all involved; teachers included. It’s okay to give and receive grace.
Getting children to bed at a set time is no different now than when they were physically going to school. Likewise, get the kids up at the same time every morning, dressed with teeth brushed. Children do best when structure and consistency are built into their day. Try to set times for schoolwork, meals and breaks. Keep in mind all children are different. Schedules may need to be adjusted to meet everyone’s needs.
Children need a dedicated workspace that’s quiet and free from distractions – and has a reliable internet connection. This could be a playroom, loft or a child’s bedroom. If using a child’s bedroom, keep the door open and make sure toys are put away and out of sight. Space may be at a premium in some homes. Consider making the kitchen table school central. Have a box or basket dedicated for each child’s school work/supplies. These can easily be removed and stored at mealtimes.
Most school districts communicate with parents and resource parents via email and text. Be sure to read each day’s communication from the school(s) to stay in the know. Children may also contact their teachers for assistance. Many teachers have office hours built into their schedules. Students may connect via Zoom, Google Classroom, email, or even an old-fashioned phone call. When parents have the needed information, children feel more secure.
Although students may receive positive feedback from teachers virtually, it is always a good idea to reinforce that with a reward at home. This can be as easy as allowing them to pick the night’s movie or dinner menu. For little ones, placing a star on a star chart or allowing an extra amount of time for play can do wonders in building encouragement. Make the reward age-appropriate and meaningful.
Some class assignments may be more difficult than others which can lead to frustration build-up for both the students and parents. It’s okay to slow down and take a much needed break. This may mean taking a walk outside, getting a healthy snack to recharge brain cells or switching gears and focusing on an easier assignment. The important thing is to give students time to decompress which affords them the opportunity to think about and process the information learned during class.
Again, every child is unique. It’s important to find what works well for each child so they can bloom academically. Below are some additional resources that can help with specific needs.
Assisteens of Anaheim Tutoring Program
Child Care Options
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mental Health Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19 Helping Children Cope
General COVID-19 Information
American Academy of Pediatrics
Heick, Terry. (2020, Apr 26). 22 Remote Learning Tips for Parents. Teacher Thought. www.bachelorprint.eu/academic-writing/referencing-citation-styles/how-to-cite-a-website/#1589377421055-9c0df844-f6a0.
Alliance for Children’s Rights. (2020). 2020 Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan: Recommendations for Schools and
Stakeholders to Support Students with Unique Needs [Webinar]. https://kids-alliance.org/resources/2020learningcontinutityandattendance/.