Remote Learning Tips for Parents
By Jen Sees
Inevitably, the transition to remote learning will provide both blessings and challenges in the coming weeks. While there are few “knowns,” there are still several things parents can do to help equip students to succeed with the new remote learning expectations:
- Set up a workstation: Just as many adults are finding themselves transitioning to an at-home work environment, your students will be expected to go to “work” (school) daily. Having a dedicated space (that is as free from distraction as possible) will be instrumental in helping them rise to the occasion.
- Dress professionally: Help students understand the connection that exists between showering and dressing for success and their ability to perform well. They will be more likely to take their school responsibilities seriously when they rise to this expectation. Remind them that teachers and fellow students will be seeing them on web cameras daily, and that their decisions about what they wear matter. Of course, the same dress code expectations still apply. No hats, pajamas, tank tops, etc.
- Emphasize hydration: Encourage students to take a water bottle into their workstation daily.
- Eliminate digital distractions: While not necessary for every student, it may be helpful to create a phone-free area for them to “turn in” their phone prior to starting classes (or an expectation that they turn off their cell phone), take games off their laptop, turn off notifications on their laptop, or use browser extensions to set time limits or block social media or specific websites.
- Reinforce a schedule/routine: The Sunday prior to each week (or even simply the night before the following day), have students schedule their day with a planner. Whether it is simply writing in each of their classes/times (remember, this is a new schedule to wrap their minds around) or going further to have them write in tasks/responsibilities in 30-min or one-hour time intervals, creating a schedule helps solidify daily purpose and vision.
- Create “to-do” lists: Separate from capturing a schedule, encourage students to make lists of tasks and responsibilities so that they can not only see their progress, but also help with accountability.
- Encourage healthy breaks: There is a 15-minute break scheduled in between each class as well as a full hour lunch. Instead of using that time to switch screens, help students choose to step outside and reinvigorate their minds and bodies by sitting in the sun (on sunny days), taking a brief walk around the block, or grabbing a healthy snack.
- Remind students about office hours: Starting Week 2, teachers are specifically available in Google Hangouts every morning (8:15 – 8:45 am) and afternoon (2:45 – 3:15 pm). Additionally, teachers are more than willing to schedule one on one time with students if/as necessary. Encourage students to stay on top of their studies this way and to reach out and ask for help if they need it!
- Establish consistent digital habits: Helps students to ensure that they check their email daily as well as the Schoology page for each of their classrooms.
- Schedule rest/rejuvenation: In order to avoid screen fatigue, emphasize the importance of downtime and encourage students to seek creative ways to enjoy each day, pursue focused opportunities to spend time with God and in his Word, and to carve out quality time with family and friends.