Navigating Virtual Learning: Strategies for Parents
Across the country parents are being called on to help children navigate a virtual learning environment at home. The transition to virtual learning may bring about some unique challenges. Below are some ideas and strategies to help ease this transition.
1. Plan ahead: Strive to be an organized parent in an unorganized time. The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in our society, in our homes, and in our daily life/routines. When our family environment at home is disrupted or unpredictable, children may take this as a que to misbehave. It is important to reorganize the family environment as quickly as you can. Some ideas include: implementing a family contract, and creating an adjustable stick note schedule displayed in a common area for all to reference throughout the day.
2. Teaching your child: Assisting children with remote learning can involve helping them organize a plan for keeping track of assignments, figuring out when they need to attend live classes, getting on those video sessions at the right time, staying focused, and avoiding distractions. That’s a lot of work. Give yourself permission for some do-overs!
3. Removing learning barriers: Keep cellphones away from work area, block access to distracting websites, and encourage physical activity.
4. Promoting positive behavior: Create a point-reward system for improving behavior and post a new calendar each week. Come up with target behaviors (the good behaviors you want to see) and create a menu of rewards that your child can choose from. At the end of each day total the number or points your child has earned and draw marks through the points when your child spends them.
5. Developing Work/Life balance: It may be helpful to get a head start in the morning if you know you will have a busy day ahead. Try to divide and conquer if there are other adults in the home to help out. If you are a single parent, see if you can set up a virtual video chat with a grandparent or family friend to occupy your child’s time while you are in work meetings or attending to other children.
These are challenging times for both you and your children! Just know that you are not alone and many other parents are likely facing similar challenges. Challenging circumstances may require more problem solving and creative solutions, but you can do it!