Like it or not, millions of students get access to their education practically this year, and around the country schools use different models, platforms and methods with varying results. Some students thrive or manage, others struggle or become completely disconnected.
So how can you help your child become a better online teacher? Here are some suggestions and ways to help:
Learning the ropes:
Even if you do not want to be your child's de facto teacher, it will help if you have a basic understanding of the primary tools your child uses and what their school and teachers expect. Questions you can ask include:
- How does my student know what is expected of him / her in each subject?
- What platforms / programs does my child need to access, and is there a parent login option?
- How much time is my student expected to spend each day?
- What is the best way for me and my student to communicate with the teacher?
- What are the school's expectations for synchronous learning?
Setting Up Your Child for Success:
Help your child create a space and schedule for their distance learning time. They should at least have a special space to work, free from too much noise and distraction. In addition, it is important to have a schedule for their success. Set up or help them calculate a consistent wake-up time and a system for managing their work every day.
Creating an Intervention Plan:
No one likes (or wants to be) a helicopter parent, but this year it's an unusual dilemma: Is it better to be on top of our children so they do not fall behind during this difficult year, or should we let them sink or swim so they can learn from it ̵
More tips for parents:
- Talk to teachers: Your child's teacher wants to help. Actually letting students reach out and ask questions or do a virtual meeting actually makes their job easier in the long run. If your child is struggling, communicate with the teacher and get help.
- Decide What's Important: This may not be the year to push your child toward high achievement. If they are doing pretty well and their mental health (and yours) is decent, consider it a success.
- Take a break from the screens: Now that students have to go to school online, they wish they could take a break from the screens. Plan screen-free time for your family, not as a punishment but as a necessary break.
The Benefits of Online Schooling:
Perhaps the best way to approach this year of virtual learning is not to consider what young people will lose, but what they can gain. Young people who are stuck in virtual education can become fantastic independent students, equipped to navigate a complex virtual work environment and with highly developed "soft skills", such as perseverance, time management, the ability to ask for help.
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