Distance Learning Isn’t Ideal, but it Can Be Easier

Sitting in front of a screen all day, without personal interaction, experiential learning or socializing with other students, kids simply are not able to learn effectively. They are coming off of the weirdest six months of their lives, they are out of their routine, they are lonely and they are having a hard time focusing. Parents want kids to strive to be their best, but right now, kids need to feel safe and in some control. Every day we see children breaking down in tears. There are steps parents can take to help their kids:

1. Check in to see how kids are feeling. These are definitely weird times, and what used to be easy and stress-free, may not be now. Check in before each class to see how they are doing.

2. Don’t second guess your kids. For kids who have returned to in-person classrooms, leave monitoring safety procedures to the school. When kids come home, they do not need to be grilled about social distancing and mask wearing. This will add to their anxiety.

3. Form a pod. Partner with other families to form a pod, or find a pod near you, giving your kids socialization and opportunity for experiential learning.

4. Let kids help create their space. Well-meaning parents are transforming areas of their home into virtual learning spaces, but they have taken the creativity and autonomy away from the student. Let the students have a say in their space.

5. Move throughout the day. Let kids move about the house and work in different rooms, say from the kitchen to the living room, so they do not lose focus and become bored.

6. Don’t worry about grades. Right now learning and enjoying the process of learning is more important than grades.

7. Be easy on yourself! Parents are juggling work, while overseeing their kids’ schoolwork, and many have their own worries about the economy. Kids pick up on their parents’ stress, so go easy on yourself.

8. Go easy on the teachers. They, too, are doing their best, managing two dozen kids via a screen, and for those in person, worried about their own health. Have patience with them.

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