The world is changing. The shift to distance learning in response to COVID-19 presents new challenges for our communities to adapt to. We say communities, because this shift doesn’t only rely on teachers and school administrators, but parents and guardians too.
In many households, parents are now expected to play a much more active role in their child's education. This can be tough, as parents often also have to cook, clean, and work. And let’s face it, we don’t all remember the math we learned in school.
We need to remember to be kind to ourselves during this time. You’re not expected to become a teacher overnight and it’s okay to spend time caring for yourself too. We’ve put together a list of a few ways to make distance learning easier for you and your kids.
5 tips for making distance learning a little easier
1) Keep a routine and make space for learning.
Try to retain the same kind of schedule and routine you maintained before. Since there’s no bell schedule at home, you have to make time for different activities throughout the day. Try going for a walk before starting the day or making lunch together. Help your kids create goals, tasks, and deadlines for themselves to give their days more structure.
2) Use available resources.
There are many resources out there that can support your child’s learning needs, while taking some pressure off you. Look into the resources your child uses in school already and try out some free online tools. Khan Academy has thousands of free online lessons for a wide variety of subjects. You can make online flashcards and educational games using Quizlet. You can also look through thousands of free STEM videos and activities on HippoCampus.
3) Make time for mental breaks.
It’s difficult to keep a separation between school and home now that school is home. Give your kids plenty of opportunities to take breaks throughout the day so they can recharge. This will help keep them more engaged with school and give them some much needed balance.
4) Limit the amount of news intake.
The constant influx of news can be a lot, especially for younger kids. Check in with your kids and see how they feel about what’s going on. The CDC has some great tips on how to talk to children about Coronavirus. For factual and current information on coronavirus itself, use trusted sources such as the WHO.
5) Stay connected with your community.
Just because we need to be physically distant, doesn’t mean we can’t be social. As students do their learning online, parents can leverage technology to help them maintain social connections online, too. Find ways to keep in touch with your family and friends. Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype are great ways to stay connected, and there are also more fun options. You can use HouseParty to have group video chats and play built in games. Jackbox Games also has a variety of options to play with your friends and family. If movies are more your thing, you can have a remote movie night with friends by using Netflix Party.
As we are all becoming more accustomed to our new temporary reality, the most important thing to remember is to go easy on yourself, and on your kids. Maintain a sense of normalcy and routine at home. Take time to decompress. Make some ‘you’ time. Enjoy quality time with your loved ones and remember there are resources available to make this transition a little easier. Don’t be afraid to lean on your support systems during this time - you are not alone.
The Paper team wants to hear from you
The current situation in education is evolving everyday, and the Paper team wants to do its part in helping support families as they face these unique challenges.
Are you a parent who wants to share your own tips and stories on the subject, or want more tips from our expert engagement team? Reach out to us on Twitter – we'd love to hear from you.
In the meantime, make sure to subscribe to the PAPER Blog to keep track of other events and resources our team is putting together for the community!
Founded in 2014, Paper is an Educational Support System (ESS) providing students with 24/7 live help & essay review, and teachers with real-time feedback and intervention tools. Paper partners with districts across North America to close the achievement gap and support educational equity.