Navigating Remote Learning During Covid-19

For Families

What teachers want parents to know

Times are Changing

It’s no secret we are living in unprecedented times, with COVID-19 changing our lives in ways no living person has experienced. Amongst these difficulties is a concept sending many parents down a tunnel of anxiety, fear and dread – school closures.

What do I teach?
How much time do I allocate for schooling?
What if my teen refuses to cooperate?

These are just a few of the thoughts we know many of you are, understandably, having right now. The Big Sister Experience is here for you!

As teachers ourselves, here are our top tips for navigating remote learning in your household.

It’s okay not to be perfect during this journey

Hold compassion for yourself and your family’s individual circumstances. It’s not always simple, or even possible, to complete tasks. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, rest assured you won’t be alone.

Remember that teachers aren’t experts at remote learning yet

This is new for teachers too, and they will need to make necessary adjustments along the way. Well-delivered feedback and communication from parents will likely be very appreciated. Don’t forget to acknowledge and share the positives!

woman holding silver iPhone 6

Provide routine and structure for your teen’s learning

Scheduling a consistent start time is a great place to begin. Encourage 10-minute ‘brain breaks’ where your teen can be active or take a break. Most primary school-aged children will need a brain break every 30-60 minutes to remain well-focused. Most secondary school-aged students will need a break every 60-90 minutes.

Create a workspace for your teen’s

This should be equipped with everything they need to complete their learning tasks including stationary, books, worksheets and electronic devices as needed, including login details. Being organised in their own space will allow your teen to work with greater independence, therefore taking extra pressure off you as a parent.

Devise a ‘Learning Agreement’ with your teen

A learning agreement is like a contract that outlines expectations from both student and pupil. Devise a learning agreement that can be put on display in their workspace. Have a conversation about their current school values and classroom expectations and work from there, adding in your own as needed. Don’t forget to ask your teen what qualities are important in a teacher to help them learn.

Stay connected to your school community

Organise remote catchups for your teen with their classmates, chat to the other parents and share your honest experiences. We may be physically distanced, but we can certainly keep a strong community.

Ask your child’s teacher for help if you need it

That’s what we are here for! We all learn at different paces and that’s ok. If your teen is struggling in an area and you need some assistance to teach them, your teen’s teacher will be able to offer some suggestions.

Remember to exercise patience with your child

It is only human to feel a range of emotions when your child is struggling or showing challenging behaviour. When you feel unpleasant emotions starting to arise in yourself, or notice these within your teen, consider what is best for the both of you in this moment. It may be a brain break or taking 5 deep breaths together- find what works for you.

We hope this article is useful as you embark on your remote learning journey.

Sending love and support,

The Big Sister Experience Team