Prepare for a Positive Distance Learning Experience


As more and more school districts around the country turning to distance learning to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, parents wonder what to do to prepare. Three skills that parents need for distance learning is time management, organization, and resilience.



Time Management

While teaching at home, there is little to no set schedule. Look at this as an opportunity to set your own daily schedule. Break up your day. Include a daily DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time where everyone reads for pleasure. Give yourself and your child regular breaks so neither of you feels overwhelmed.


Do whatever tasks are most challenging for you or your child during your family's peak time of day. Work on subjects that you are most comfortable with at the time of day that is not your peak time. Fit favorite home learning subjects into your day where they work. Make sure to schedule ample breaks, snacks, a lunch hour, and outdoor play into your day.


Organization

You may want to keep a calendar with assignment due dates, online class times, and test dates. By doing this, you can manage distance learning by tracking weekly classwork and homework. Organization extends to the home classroom too.


It can help have a regular, quiet study space even if everyone is working together at the kitchen table. Does your child need extra quiet to work? Try letting him wear headphones to muffle distractions. Does your child wander away from the website that they are supposed to be working on? Add parental controls to her device. You can limit when distracting sites are available. Students with sensory integration issues may prefer low or soft lighting.


To better maintain a school or work-life balance, create a signal that shows the transition. When the day's learning is complete, have your children put away their homework and supplies. If you don't have any place else to store school supplies, put it in their school bags and backpacks.


Resilience

Social distancing can feel lonely. Your child is not going to remember if you didn't get an entire day home learning done. She will remember how this time at home as a whole felt. Do the best you can!


Rely on the professionals. School administrators, teachers, and school counselors often hold office hours beyond the predetermined instruction time. If you or your child are struggling with distance learning, reach out. Many school districts are continuing to provide meals for students who receive free or reduced meals. Contact your local school district for more information.


Luckily, there are many free resources to help you with distance learning. Online videos supply a community of high-quality educational videos that you can use for distance teaching. There Math, Chemistry, and STEM videos. But there are fun videos like actors reading aloud popular stories, zoo cams, and crafting tutorials. Furthermore, your state library offers many educational sites and databases that align with your state's curriculum. Often, local libraries provide free wifi in parking lots and parks and print resources for special school projects.


To wrap up, remember that with a little time management, organization, and resilience, your child can have a successful home learning school year. Plan home learning around the schedule that works best for your family. Create a calendar to track assignments, tests, and classes. Personalize your distance learning space. Remember that you are not alone, rely on your school professionals. Find free resources at your state and local library and online.


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