How to Survive AND Thrive With Digital Learning
Distance learning can be a challenge, for even the most dedicated students and organized parents. Working from home, job changes or loss, stress, health concerns, and uncertainty have created additional challenges to distance learning success.
Try these 7 tips from Teri-Kay Johnson, Learning Support Coordinator at Holy Cross, to help your distance learner stay on track.
Support Your Child Where They Are
One of the most important things parents can do is to support their child where they are.
This means being patient, not putting excessive expectations and realizing that this style of learning may create additional challenges for your child. Continue to do the best you can in keeping your child’s mind active and learning.
Keep Your Child On A Schedule
- Continue to keep your child on a schedule. A consistent schedule really helps children to maintain focus and even motivates some students.
- Schedule time for brain breaks, play time, lunch time, and snacks.
- Let them have a say in how they would like to organize their day. Kids retain information better when they have an interest in what they’re learning.
Create a Dedicated Learning Space
- Create a work space for your child to do school work with supplies needed for learning.
- Try to remove distractions, like cell phones and tv, from this area during school time.
- Remove clutter if possible around the work space
For older students (3rd grade and up), create a daily checklist for assignments with due dates and suggested time allotments. Some suggestions include:
- Use a whiteboard (hanging or on an easel)
- Create a checklist on the computer using a larger font size and print out daily.
- Use markers on a full piece of notebook paper to color code different subjects.
- Post schedule and assignments on a bulletin board or attach to a wall/door where your child works.
- Create a calendar with/for your child for longer assignments/projects. Break them into smaller, less overwhelming chunks he or she can work on each day.
Read, Read, Read
Have your child read or be read to on a regular basis in order to improve fluency and vocabulary. Journaling, writing stories, and responding to reading can also be useful activities.
Many companies have made their resources available for free during this time.
Reading A-Z (up to grades 5-6): https://www.readinga-z.com/
Epic (story books): https://www.getepic.com/
ABCYA (primary grades): https:/abcya.com/
Starfall (early primary): https://www.starfall.com/h/
Newslea (better for upper grades as this site is article based and good for non-fiction reading, including science and social studies) : https://newsela.com/
Continue to Communicate
Communicate with your child’s teachers (or have older students communicate this themselves) if :
- they are struggling to understand a concept, skill, or process
- they do not understand what to do on an assignment
Finish the Day Strong
Establish a system to check all work at the end of the day and prepare for tomorrow.
When assignments are complete, ask your child to check:
- Is the assignment complete?
- Did I take my time to do the assignment well/to the best of my abilities?
- Did I turn the assignment in to the correct teacher in the correct place?
Get organized for tomorrow:
- Return all books and supplies to a dedicated space.
- Print the assignments and schedule for tomorrow
Create Opportunities for Academic and/or Social Interaction for Children
It is equally important during social distancing to create opportunities for academic and/or social interaction for children. These opportunities can be created through monitored zoom calls or face time calls.
- Collaboration with peers on assignments or clarification of directions and instructions.
- Establishing a “study buddy” to keep motivated and stay on-task . . . so much learning happens with peers!
- Outside of academic time, create social time for friends to visit or even play board games through these virtual visits!
Ultimately, Mrs. Johnson suggests students and families be patient during this time and understand that there is no pressure to do everything all at once. Allow space and grace as we all continue on this new learning curve.
Need Additional Help?
For video support regarding particular math areas: