The transition to online learning may be challenging for some families. Parents will need to think differently about how to support their children, create structures and routines that allow their children to be successful, and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. The best practices provided below are intended to assist parents in helping their children find success in an online learning environment.
Establish routines and expectations
Parents need to establish routines and expectations from day one of online learning. Parents are encouraged to set regular hours for their student’s schoolwork including a normal bedtime and wake up time. It is important that parents set these expectations as soon as online learning begins.
Establish times for quiet and reflection
A huge challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children’s needs, especially when those students vary in age. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distractions. Parents may even experiment with noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions.
Define the physical space for your student’s school work
Your student may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time. We encourage families to establish a space/location where their student will learn most of the time. This should be a public/family space, not in a child’s bedroom.
Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
Make sure your children remember to move and exercise. This is vitally important to their health, well being, and learning.
Begin and end each day with a check-in
Parents are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. In the morning, ask what is your child learning today? What are their learning goals? How will they spend their time? What resources do they require? What support do they need? Older students may not want to have these check-ins with parents, but they should nevertheless. Parents should establish these check-ins as regular parts of each day.
Monitor how much time your child is spending online
Please monitor your student’s social media use, especially during an extended school closure. Older students will rely more on social media to communicate with friends. Social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned channels of communication. Remind your children to be polite, respectful, and appropriate in their communications.
Take an active role in helping your student process their learning
Human beings learn best when they have opportunities to process their learning with others. Beyond the check-ins recommended at the start and end of each day, parents should regularly circle back and engage with their children about what they’re learning.
Maintain an appropriate level of decorum in your home
Please remember that your student’s online learning opens a window into your home. Role model appropriate behavior while your student is engaged in a Zoom meeting with their teacher and peers. Please do not use profanity. Enforce the schedule and guidelines you’ve set up in order for your student to be a successful online learner.