student boy sitting at desk on video call with teacher

11 Tips for Parents of Students Navigating Online or Distance Learning

Because of the coronavirus, many schools have decided to switch to distance/online learning either temporarily or permanently to help keep students and their families safe. While parents understand the consideration of safety, many are still concerned that their children will fall behind in this new learning environment. If you’re worried about your children’s academic progress and wondering how you’re going to balance teaching with your other responsibilities, here are eleven tips to help you successfully navigate distance learning. 


1. Try to stick to a schedule 

Kids learn best when their days have some structure, so try to establish a new daily routine. Begin and end lessons around the same time each day and schedule time for breaks, lunch, and extracurricular activities like playing an instrument. 


2. Set up a designated learning space 

student sitting at a desk on a video call with a teacher

By Julia M Cameron on Pexels

Just like adults, kids need a comfortable, quiet workspace to perform at their best. Help your child find a place in the house with minimal distractions where they can sit down and focus on their schoolwork. 


3. Teach them tech skills 

If your kids are learning online for the first time, they may not be familiar with the software they’ll need to use to communicate with their classmates and teachers. Helping them get familiar with these applications at the beginning of the school year will set them up for success. 


4. Help them with time management 

to do list over a calendar

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Most kids aren’t able to manage their time effectively until they’re in middle school. That’s why it’s a good idea to review their assignments with them at the beginning of the week and help them make a plan for getting the work done. Consider buying a few planners or calendars too so your kids can keep track of important due dates.  


5. Reach out to your child’s teacher

If your child is having difficulty adjusting to distance learning, reach out to their teacher. They’ll be able to provide you with resources and guidance to help make the transition easier. 


6. Take advantage of free learning resources 

Online learning resources like Khan Academy, Crash Course, and Cool Math can supplement your child’s school lessons and help them understand any concepts that they’re struggling with. 


7. Encourage your child to stay in touch with friends 

girl sitting at desk waving at computer

By Julia M Cameron on Pexels

Because your children won’t be able to see their classmates at school every day, try to encourage them to keep in touch so they don’t feel isolated. If you have young children, help them organize Zoom playdates or send their friends letters in the mail. Teens will likely stay connected to their classmates through social media, so experts recommend letting them have a little extra screen time.


8. Reward your kids for their hard work 

The stress of the pandemic has caused some people to struggle with motivation. If your child is having trouble focusing on schoolwork, it may help to give them an incentive. If they get their homework done on time or get a good grade on their next test, reward them with a treat like ice cream or extra video game time. 


9. Throw a class party to get your kids excited about school 

two kids boys standing in front of a window with party hats on

By AdinaVoicu on Pixabay

Many teachers host class parties to get students excited about the year to come. But just because your kids are at home doesn’t mean they have to give up this fun tradition! 

You can surprise them with a back to school party complete with themed decorations and activities like playing board games or watching their favorite movies. To make the night even more special, consider renting one of our popcorn or cotton candy machines.


10. Set boundaries

If you’re trying to work from home and oversee your child’s education, it’s important to set some boundaries so you can still get things done. Let your child know when you’ll be on conference calls or focusing on your own deadlines, and help them develop strategies for solving problems when you aren’t available. 


11. Take care of yourself 

women laying down with cucumbers on her eyes

By Breakinginc on Pexels

When you’re worried about your children and how they’re coping, you can forget to take care of yourself. Even though you’re busy, try to find a few minutes every day to do something relaxing, like reading a book or practicing mindfulness. If you’re in a good place mentally, you’ll be a more present and effective parent. 


There will definitely be some bumps along the way as your kids adjust to distance learning, but hopefully, with these tips in mind, your family will have a successful school year! We wish you all the best of luck this school year and know that with your strong will and dedication, you and your child(ren) will have an awesome school year. 

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