Distance Learning- Thriving or Barely Surviving?
As we have had to adjust to distance learning, we really do not know when or if traditional school will return any time soon. Thus, it is very important we learn new strategies to support our children and teens’ social, emotional, and academic growth during the pandemic. Parents have a large role and responsibility, unless maybe you have a “pod” teacher and/or tutor to teach students academic content, organization/study skills and metacognitive strategies. Beach Cities Tutoring has always supported families, but at this time we want believe it is super important to provide some tips/strategies to help parents with distance learning.
- Create a specialized, quiet space as free from distractions as possible whether it includes a desk, lap desk, moveable box or crate. Additionally, have a plastic box filled with school supplies so that students have easy access to materials and do not have to waste time, energy and focus looking for materials they need. This box should include a calculator for older students, pens, pencils, erasers, sticky notes, highlighters, notebooks, etc.
- Set a routine– Children and teens are used to structure and need a routine. Creating a visual schedule for younger children and a calendar/planner or digital organizer for older students is very helpful to set expectations and manage time efficiently. Students should still eat breakfast, brush their teeth, shower, and get dressed rather than doing zoom school in pajamas. Make sure to include physical activity/exercise during and after the school day.
- Plan breaks- Children, teens and even adults need to recharge and have breaks in order to sustain attention for longer and be able to accomplish larger tasks that require multiple steps.
- Set expectations (rules)- Create rules for distance learning time with your children and teens and post them in their learning area. If they help create the rules they will be more likely to buy in. Creating a list of “must dos” and “may dos” can help students prioritize what work is most important to complete first. Decide how children can ask for help when parents are working (maybe writing a note, or creating a hand signal, setting specific times for questions, etc).
- Turn television, music, and phones off during online instruction. As a teacher students are often on mute but when I call on them to participate I hear a bunch of music, tv, etc. This makes it very difficult for students to fully focus on online instruction which is already hard to begin with.
- Communicate with teachers and encourage students of all ages to self advocate by modeling this communication during the school day. Students need to be taught how to self advocate, the benefits of self advocating, and given examples.
- Teach self love and gratitude- If your child/teen gets caught up saying negative things about themselves, encourage self-kindness by asking them what they would say to a friend in the same situation.Creating a gratitude journal can also help children even at a young age to see the positive side of things. Help them identify and write down 3 positive things they are thankful for or that happened in their day.
Academic Distance Learning Resources: