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Eight Remote Learning Strategies for Parents of Elementary Students

We now exist in this new world of social distancing, isolation, and quarantine.  Beyond maintaining 6 feet of separation, remote learning has become the main platform for education in most elementary school settings.  We are all adjusting to the new normal including parents who now need to facilitate this new learning environment!

We now exist in this new world of social distancing and remote learning. We're all adjusting, including parents who now need to facilitate this new remote learning environment! Here are 8 suggestions and ideas for parents as they help their children with distance learning.

Here are some ways parents can make remote learning more natural, more positive, and less stressful for everyone involved.

Dedicate a Space for Learning

Have an organized space for working on schoolwork. This will help students get more work done, have ownership over their schoolwork and promote independence and accountability. When children sit down in this space they will come to understand that it’s time to work and focus on school.

The dedicated area may be a table in the dining room or a desk in the bedroom and should be as distraction-free as possible. Some children may work better surrounded by family, and some may work better in a quiet room. Figure out what works for your child. Different activities may also require different spaces. We tend to do individual zoom meetings in a room with a door that can close, and most everything else at our kitchen table.

If a dedicated space is not an option for your family, set up some boxes for children to organize their work. If you have more than one child, give each child a box. At a designated time each morning and afternoon, have your children clear the table and organize their boxes. This designated organizational time keeps the papers from piling up and allows you to have a place to eat dinner as a family each evening!

Create a Schedule

A schedule helps everyone know what to expect. This predictability is especially important for kids. A sample schedule might start the day after breakfast around 9:00, and end school work around 11:30, with a couple of breaks built-in.

Create an ebb and a flow with your schedule. Work in chore time, downtime, work time, outside time, etc. Learn to read your child and adjust the times to meet their needs.

Getting enough sleep will also help everyone keep their stress in check. While you’ll want to keep a reasonable bedtime, you may find your child going to bed later and sleeping in later. It is okay for their schedule to change. Just make sure they’re getting enough sleep to counteract the stress they may be feeling.

This post has a few more tips how to do school at home.

How do we do school at home amid the crisis of the coronavirus? Schools are closing, kids are home, teachers send home packets, students now need to do online or distance learning. It's a lot to process and anxiety levels are high. As a parent, a teacher, and a homeschooler, here are some tips, ideas, and resources you can use with your children as you navigate these difficult times.

Count It All as School

While your child may have formal work assigned from their school district or teacher, in reality, children are learning all day long. In your parent-mind, start looking for ways to turn everyday activities into school-related tasks.

Are you making waffles for breakfast? Have your child help measure the ingredients (math) or read the recipe (reading). Talk about how the batter changes from a liquid to a solid. Investigate if the batter is a solution or a mixture and if it can change back into separate ingredients (science). Search the internet for different ways waffles are made in various countries (social studies and reading). When you’re done, write about the experience and what you might change to make it even better!

Here are some excellent Distance Learning Resources, some of which are science games and videos that your child can play at home. Some of these even focus on states of matter and reversible and irreversible changes!

Do you need to fill some small bits of time? These 80 Sponge Activities are easy to do in the classroom but are also great for quick breaks at home. They are small active tasks that keep students learning.

Take Breaks

Everyone needs to take breaks from work, including children. When you create your schedule, work in break time. Breaks don’t have to be playtime but could be exercise or just a bit of unstructured time. Chores can even count as a break!  

We have also found audiobooks to be an excellent way for students to take a break and still do schoolwork. Here is a post on where to find FREE audiobooks.

Do you have a listen to reading center and struggle to find audiobooks for your students to listen to during this literacy center? Here are 7 ways teachers can access FREE audiobooks for the elementary classroom. Audible is one option, but so is your local library and FREE websites for read alouds. These tips will save your listening center. #listeningcenter #listentoreading #daily5 #audiobooks

Make Adjustments

Is your child an early bird or a night owl? What about you? Are you working from home, too? Or going to work? You’ll want to schedule your day accordingly to keep everyone sane.

At the same time, listen to your child and their needs. Do they need more downtime and more breaks? Can they only keep their focus on something for a short time? Are they exhausted after an hour online call with their class? Keep a routine and schedule that works for them and the family.

Prioritize Physical Activity

Beyond the breaks, children should spend time playing outside or being active in some way. Taking the dog for a walk, going for a bike ride, or shooting hoops in the driveway all count as activity. As you create your schedule above, find ways to be intentional about getting outside in the morning and afternoon.  

This post has some great resources for P.E. Games and Activities. The games are geared for large groups, but I bet you could adjust some of the rules for family game time!

We now exist in this new world of social distancing and remote learning. We're all adjusting, including parents who now need to facilitate this new remote learning environment! Here are 8 suggestions and ideas for parents as they help their children with distance learning.

Ask for Help

Many of us are doing something we’ve never done before. Just as teachers don’t know everything, neither do parents. For many teachers, this is the first time they have had to teach students in a remote learning environment. For parents, this is the first time they have had this amount of responsibility for their child’s learning. It’s new for everyone.   

If you’re not sure about a direction, please ask the teacher. Also, if the workload is too much, or your day is a train wreck, feel free to scrap the plans. We’re all doing our best with learning new technology and routines.

Go with Your Gut

The final and most important suggestion is to do what you know is right for your child. Nobody expects parents to replace classroom teachers. And no one expects children to mimic a classroom situation at home. Strive for balance. Do some reading, writing, math, and movement every day. Integrate social studies and science into your routines and conversations. Pay attention to screen time. Try to keep it reasonable, but also use it to support learning. Take time to relax and invite your child to do so as well.

Positive intentions, love, consistency, and grace, will go a long way towards helping all of us survive this period of isolation and emerge as better people on the other side. Hang in there!

We now exist in this new world of social distancing and remote learning. We're all adjusting, including parents who now need to facilitate this new remote learning environment! Here are 8 suggestions and ideas for parents as they help their children with distance learning.

Eight Remote Learning Strategies for Parents of Elementary Students


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