Part 2: Parent Tips for Virtual Learning
By: Eddie Riley, CLCS Administrator
As promised in last week’s Article, Student Tips for Virtual Learning, I wanted to share some insights into how parents can help their children be successful when learning virtually. With the uncertainties of school closings and at-home learning, itâ€™s normal to feel concerned about your childâ€™s education, and even a bit overwhelmed. Making sure that our students continue to learn and grow requires a team effort from both educators and parents.
Here are some tips to help you support your children’s online learning:
1. Support them. Remote learning is not a perfect replacement for in-person classroom learning. No one expects you to replace your child’s classroom teacher, however you need to support your child by making it possible for them to access online classes and lessons, and by checking in with them to make sure assignments are completed.
2. Encourage goal-setting. Goals provide direction and help students stay focused. Help your students set some short-term academic and personal goals, such as having all of their schoolwork finished by a certain time of the day, or engaging in at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day. Praise your child for making, working toward, and reaching those goals.
3. Help create a schedule: Most students do better when their day is structured and they know what they should be doing. Daily schedules should include time for leisure, schoolwork, and time away from screens. Sit together and create a daily schedule. This will provide ownership and responsibility to stay on task.
4. Help build a growth-mindset. When we encounter a challenge of any kind, it’s helpful to have a growth-mindset—and remote learning can definitely be challenging at times. Your child may get frustrated, or even feel that what they are doing is too much of a challenge. Remind them that with a growth-mindset you don’t complain and give up when something is hard. You get creative, ask for help, or try to do things differently. Be sure to assure them that you have confidence in their ability to succeed.
5. Stay up-to-date on communication. As a school we strive to share the most up-to-date information with our families. It is important to read all communications from the school carefully. As a test, if you are the first to respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with “I read this,” your children will receive 5 Warrior wear passes to be used any day of the week except on a Chapel day.
6. Be involved. Most students are able to keep track of and complete their assignments independently, many students need a little extra push or frequent reminders to stay on track. Determine how much oversight and support your child needs, and respond accordingly. Be sure to talk to them about what they are learning. Difficulty in understanding something may indicate a need for your assistance or to reach out to a teacher.
7. Be patient. Remind your child to be patient with teachers and themselves. This is a frustrating, confusing time, and we’re all just trying to figure it out.
8. Spend time together. Take advantage of the additional time you have with your children. Read books together, take walks, involve them in your daily tasks/projects, and most importantly have fun as a family.
Have you ever forgotten one of your children? When asked in a recent chapel, numbers of students raised their hands that they were forgotten or left behind. The Home Alone movies humorously illustrated how this could happen. Sometimes we feel like we’ve been left behind, like God has gone on without us. Our Heavenly Father does not do that. He doesn’t walk in front of us expecting us to keep up, nor does He walk behind us to pushing us to move along. He walks beside us, comforting us in frustrating times.
Have you ever felt forsaken? Forsaking means to discontinue a relationship, to stop caring or to have no hope. Recently I heard a story of a man who purposely left his wife at a rest area and drove off without her, never to see her again. That’s terrible, that’s being forsaken. We may seem forsaken at times. Jesus felt that way on the cross when he cried to His Father, “…why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Of course God the Father had not forsaken Jesus, our sins, born by our Savior caused a Holy God to have to turn away. But the salvation story shows that God was still there in the midst of His Son’s anguish and suffering. He is still right where He has always been.
With all that has taken place in our lives during these past few months we all need to make sure that we keep the faith. God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).