A new school year is approaching and many parents and teachers have to take an unconventional approach to educate children. Over the past few weeks, return to school has been the main source of stress, anxiety, and frustration for many parents. The community was not fully prepared for the drastic shift. Parents may feel overwhelmed and unprepared to transfer their child’s classroom into the home without the right tools, resources, or years of training as a teacher. THAT’S OKAY! Distance learning is new, for parents, teachers, and most students alike. With everyone trying to figure out how to make this work, keep in mind that virtual learning doesn’t have to be scary, and can actually have rewarding benefits.
While we’re trying to find a balance between self-discipline and self-care, maintain patience and remember the few things you can do to make life run a little smoother in your child’s virtual classroom.
Connect with your child’s teachers. Teachers have been trying their best to be available and make
this new norm as smooth as possible. Stay in touch with them and ask questions. Remember you’re the student too in all of this. Work together.
Set a schedule/routine that works for you, but also keep it flexible. Not only may this look unlike their traditional school day, but it may include getting school work done on weekends when parents have more time to help out. Communicate with teachers about what your family is going through and get creative with how best to use your time.
Give yourself grace. You don’t have to be perfect. This is new for all of us. Every approach will be different. If yours is different from someone else’s, it’s okay. It is most important that your approach works for your family!
Be realistic in goal setting. Everyone has a different situation. Some parents at home and able to assist, some are essential staff working overtime, and some are able to work from home. Create weekly goals for your child that takes your family and circumstances into account.
Create a Community Pod. Have friends who are all dealing with the same unfamiliar virtual learning life? Schedule Zoom time with other families to give kids a chance to socialize, play, and chat with one another. This can be designated time throughout the day that they kids can look forward to while you catch up on work and return an email or two.
Just remember, you’re not alone. Remote learning has presented parents with many new challenges. Many families are still adapting and adjusting to new responsibilities, like teaching. However, circumstances have provided new opportunities to improve parental involvement and create new memories for your children in the future.