Useful Parenting Hacks for Distance Learning

Parenting
Education

When the pandemic hit, we had to adjust to some entirely new circumstances. One of the things that changed the most was the educational system because students could no longer safely go to school. 

If you have a child learning from home, you may have a newfound appreciation for their teachers. Remote learning disrupts our lives, but there are some things that you can do to ensure that your student is learning properly and remaining engaged and productive while they are schooling at home. 

Stay Empathetic

Sure, having a kid learning at home can disrupt a parent’s life. I know it impacted the way I went about my day while I work from home. However, it is important to understand that it has a larger impact on your child’s life. 

Try to remember that they still need to socialize and be a kid. Social interaction is important for growth and development and may be lacking with at-home learning. Take time out of your day to let your student know that you are there for them. Go for a morning walk before class begins or play board games in the evening. This will allow your student to destress and connect with you. 

Keep a Schedule

Children crave structure, especially younger children. Even older students can benefit from a routine. In fact, it can be highly beneficial for you as well. When I started keeping a schedule, my days progressed better. A routine also allows me and my kid to develop healthy sleeping and eating habits.

I always like to start the day (after waking up and having plenty of coffee!) by taking a walk and my children go with me. I have found that it can provide a boost in mood and get them ready to take the day on. Then, since I work from home I am able to eat lunch with them during the day as well. At 12:30 every day, I eat lunch with my kids. This provides a break from school and provides a healthy eating pattern. 

Finally, keeping proper bedtimes can be great as well. It is important for your child to get plenty of sleep because their mind is still growing. Sleep can help with memory, productivity, motivation, and mood. 

Help Your Student

Learning from home means that your child is likely unable to get the one-on-one time with their teacher that they may need to learn properly. However, they are still expected to learn the same material as they would’ve while going to school.

It is important for her that I take the time to help her with her homework when she does not understand a concept. We work through problems together and I try to keep it fun. It can take a lot of time depending on the concept, but it will be best for her in the long run. 

I have found that my daughter dislikes speaking up on camera during her online Zoom classes. She feels anxious when asking questions because it seems like everyone is looking at her. I try to remain supportive about these negative emotions, but she still needs to learn the material. 

My daughter often needs extra help with math and, frankly, so do I. If I am unable to teach her a concept, then I like to turn to extra help for my daughter. This is where Remind Coaching comes in. They have excellent tutors that can keep your child on track. Since I tend to be better at English and History, they can really lend a hand for math. 

Create a Learning Space

When my daughter first began distance learning, we really did not have a proper learning space for her. She went mentally from one class to the next while physically remaining on her bed. I found that this was not conducive to her learning. 

It took some time, but now we have a great learning space for my daughter. She still cannot move physically because, well I don’t live in a school. But there are some things we did that helped her get ready for different classes. 

First, I built a wall desk (you can buy them too) that can fold out of her wall. Since we do not have much space, this was the best way to create an area for her that was solely for schooling. Second, I encouraged her to get up between each class and switch out her materials. This provided her with a routine and prepared her for each class individually. For younger kids, it may be important to do recess at home or have stretch breaks to provide similar benefits.

Reduce Distraction

Remote learning means there could be significant distractions (and to tell you the truth, sometimes I am one of the distractions). Pets, siblings, outside noises, and cell phones can all be distractions. Some are harder to control than others. 

My daughter has her own cell phone and it is the biggest distraction from school work. I had to create stronger rules on her phone use at home after she started learning from home. I allow her to use her phone in between classes and listen to music on her phone during solo work times. I feel like taking it completely away would do more harm than good for her education. 

Reward and Praise a Job Well-Done

It can be hard to stay motivated while working or learning from home. For my daughter, she has trouble seeing the reasons for doing the things she is doing in school. While I like to supply real world applications for her school work, I have found that it can be just as helpful to give praise and rewards for her everyday achievements. 

When my daughter is proud of something she finished, I want to encourage her to stay motivated on future projects. I find things I like about her work and praise them. Sometimes it is her hard work and getting something done quickly, other times it is the care or detail she puts into a project. If she improves in a certain area I like to reward that with praise. For example, if she outlined an English paper before writing the first draft, I would praise that work and how it helped her do a great job on the end product. 

One hack for doing this is to have comment cards. My daughter and I both submit one card each week. She writes down one thing she learned, one thing she would like to learn, and one question that she has on the material. I write down one thing she did great and one thing she can improve on. This motivates her in a fun way that she is comfortable with. 

Communicate

Communicating with your student is important. If you have ever had a child answer “Good, Okay, Yes” when you inquire about their day at school, you know that good communication is not always easy. However, asking them open-ended questions and keeping them engaged by sharing aspects of your own life and day can help them open up.

You should also keep in communication with their teachers. Just because your child is not face-to-face with their teachers every day does not mean that you shouldn’t ask how they are doing in class. This can also allow for more growth for you and your child. 

Final Thoughts

Every household and student is different, but hopefully, these tips and hacks will help you and your student with your remote learning experience. It can be stressful to have a child at home at all times, but doing these things will help bring positivity into the distance learning atmosphere. Strive to create a welcoming environment, develop healthy habits, and produce strong motivation for your child’s success. 

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