10 Online Learning Tips from Teachers
Will your kid be taking virtual classes this fall? Here's how teachers say you can help them learn.
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How to Best Support Your Child
Online learning is a new concept for many parents with school-age children and everyone –including parents, students, and teachers – is adjusting. Though the start of a virtual semester may seem daunting, everyone is doing what they can to set kids up for online-learning success. We spoke with teachers across the country about how parents can help their kids get the most out of online classes and rounded up the most helpful words of wisdom.
Create a Space to Learn
"Parents can help their kids online by creating an environment that keeps them engaged and focused. With education moving virtual, it is important to limit the amount of technology that is around so kids can maintain their focus. Also, [try] carving out an office-type space, if possible, to give students a space to learn that’s not in front of a TV or on their beds."
– Kelechi, High School English
Have a Question? Ask the Teacher
"Remote learning is something quite new for a lot of individuals, which in return poses many challenges for both educators and families… [My advice to parents] is to just reach out if there are ever any questions or concerns. We always tell our students to ask for help or just ask questions in general, but it shouldn't stop there. It is important to build relationships with the families as well. As teachers we may not always have the answers, but we will always try to find them for our students and families, to maximize student's learning and to ensure the safety of everyone."
– Daja, K-12 Special Education
Accommodations May Be Virtual
"Students with IEPs and 504 plans receive accommodations and supper services, including but not limited to occupational therapy and speech therapists. For students who receive such support, you should reach out to your school and see how those will be moved to virtual platforms... For students who are accustomed to or depend on these services, parents may have to step in and play a larger role than previously presumed. This may look like attending virtual services with your student so you can be mindful of what skills your child is focusing on."
– Julienne, Elementary School, Language Arts and Social Studies
Make Learning Fun
"Parents can best help their kids with remote learning by implementing fun into their child's daily schedule. Creating flash cards with key terms to play with in-between lessons gives your child a brain break. Students of any age will enjoy this. Flash cards enables review and helps you engage with your scholar and understand what they are learning. This will help them to understand that learning can happen even when they aren't in front of a screen."
– Julien, High School Physics
Encouragement is Key
"Check in on your child and their progress daily. It's important to help provide that encouragement and motivation factor so they hear it from their parents and not just their teacher!"
- Katie, Elementary School ELA
Create a System
"Create a system... Create clear expectations and a method to monitor your student's progress. A good system needs established rewards. If your student is crushing it, it is beneficial to show them you recognize this hard work and appreciate their commitment. This can look like making their favorite meal at the end of the week, a chore pass, quality time, a new toy or game, extended time on their personal device or ordering from their favorite place. [Finally], a good system needs regulated discipline. The important thing to remember is that whatever discipline you put in place will be negatively associated, which is why I don't recommend using schoolwork or chores. Instead, take away the game controller or put restrictions on the TV and computer."
– Tanaisha, Kindergarten
"Online learning is a new experience for students, their families and teachers. We are all learning and growing together through this process. There may be technical difficulties, your child may feel over it for the day or their teacher may send out the wrong link. I would tell parents to give their children, their teachers and themselves 'grace.'"
– Khalia, Kindergarten
YouTube Can Be a Great Tutor
"If your student is having a harder time understanding lessons in a virtual setting, try video resources like Khan Academy or YouTube tutorials. They're the perfect free tutor."
– Josh, Middle School Mathematics
Allow Room for Mistakes
"Allow room for mistakes and uncertainty at this time. Students may take a longer time to process information because, essentially, they're going to be learning at their own pace at home, which is much more beneficial for them as opposed to the pace of a classroom with 25+ other students and one teacher."
– Diamond, Middle School ELA
"There is a new level of independence students are taking on in online learning. You can help them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks and deadlines. This is an opportunity for them to grow in skills that will benefit them in their future plans. Parents, remember that your relationship with your child is what’s most important in this time. Don’t forget to make time to have fun. Lastly, students need encouragement more than ever, and you are an important voice in their lives. Be intentional about encouraging your student in their successes and through the challenges they will undoubtably overcome in this process. We are in this together, and we wil be resilient."
– Kristie, High Scool AP Psychology and American History