Day to day life is busy. Adding distance learning and assignments to the mix can be overwhelming and stressful especially if you have multiple children you are caring for or working a full time job. The district I work in is starting with virtual learning for the first 4 weeks of school, then the plan is to move to a hybrid model with 2 days in person learning, and 3 days of virtual. Here are 10 distance learning tips for parents I have learned while teaching virtually.
Stay organized with a calendar
Have a calendar or planner and write assignments and live lessons times down. This is especially if you have multiple children at home doing virtual learning. Writing down live lesson times and assignments helps keep your day organized.
Set a routine
Set time each day to work on school assignments. Getting your child into a routine is helpful to prepare them for when they do go back to the classroom. It also provides children with consistency and they know exactly when they will need to do their school work.
Have a space for learning
Set up an area in your home for students to do their live lessons. A quiet spot in the house is best, but if that isn’t completely possible, headphones are a great option. If you are looking for a good pair of kid’s headphones, I recommend these.
Keep supplies accessible
Keep students supplies accessible at their learning space. If your school is handing out packets, paperwork or supplies (pencils, crayons, scissors etc.)
Know the expectations
Your child’s teacher will most likely set up expectations for the class during live lessons. It will most likely be to keep your microphone muted, sit in a location where you are able to concentrate and pay attention, show up on time etc. Make sure you are aware of these expectations and remind your children of them.
Teach your child how to mute their microphone
Teach your child how to mute/ unmute their microphone. It can cause a lot of background noise if all mic’s aren’t muted and can make it hard to hear and concentrate on the teacher. Make sure your child knows how to unmute when they are called on, and mute again when they are done sharing.
Use speaker view
If you are using Zoom for live lessons, there is a speaker view option at the top of the screen. If speaker view is selected instead of grid view, the teacher’s screen will show up larger and make it easier for your child to focus on the teacher. I am less familiar with Google Meet, but I know there are adjustable settings on that platform as well.
Ask for help when needed
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarity of an assignment from the teacher. The teacher is there to help!
Be open with your child’s teacher
Many teacher’s are learning as they go. Learning technology and new ways to engage their students through a screen. If you are struggling or have a suggestion, be honest with the teacher. I want to know if the lighting or sound is off on my live lessons. I want to know if your child is overwhelmed by the work. etc.
Give grace and patience
Give your child’s teacher grace and patience. This is an uncharted experience for parents, teacher’s an administration. They are doing to best they can given the circumstances. Remember: this isn’t ideal for anyone. Teacher’s want students back in class too (when it is safe, of course)
If you are looking for more activities to do with your early elementary student at home, check out the post: homeschooling ideas for early elementary.
Is your child’s district doing virtual learning right now? What distance learning tips for parents do you have?