As a parent, you can fill in the gaps within your child’s virtual education. These expert tips will help you Supporting Learning at Home.
With so much of the world going virtual, distance learning is a regular part of life for millions of families. It’s a reality that has its pros and cons, no matter how much we embrace it or not.
Virtual school discipline is significantly different than what we’re used to with public and private education. It’s not a matter of telling our kids to sit in front of the computer and do the work, especially when the children in question are young.
Now, parents who haven’t been in school for years are tasked with supporting their child’s learning, on top of dealing with their responsibilities.
No matter how great we are at what we do and how much we love our children, most of us aren’t elementary school teachers. Corralling young ones long enough to get them to listen to their lessons is often challenging in itself.
It’s an eye-opening reminder of what primary school teachers deal with all day in a classroom environment. Yet, they are trained in doing so, and it’s their career.
While it’s not our “job” to teach our kids the curriculum, it is up to us to support their learning and encourage them to succeed.
And as a parent, you can fill in the gaps in your child’s virtual education. These tips will help you to support their learning experience while getting your to-do’s done.
Supporting Learning at Home Tips
Create a Structured Environment
Creating anything close to structure with so much minute-by-minute change might seem impossible. Yet, it’s the most important thing your children need from you.
The rest of the world might seem chaotic, but your home doesn’t have to be. The sooner you can find some semblance of a routine, the faster you’ll find your new normal. One of best tips for Supporting Learning at Home.
Setting the Stage for Structure
The structure is all about how well you take control of the day’s factors that are within your ability to manage.
This starts with setting routines in the areas of your family life that you can oversee. Give your kids a specific bedtime and an organized guideline for morning procedures. Like their wake-up method, simple things, brushing their teeth, and eating breakfast, can start the day right.
Their workspace should be consistent, too. Design a quiet area for learning and give them all the tools they’ll need, like pencils and paper. Make a supply cabinet they can access if they run out of something. The more you set up for them to handle independently, the less they’ll need you later.
Once you have all of these structural formats in place, set rules for them to follow. Children thrive better when they know what is expected of them. Think about it: They’d have rules in the classroom; they will be fine following yours, too.
However, when they break a rule, there should be gentle but uniform consequences, just as there would be at school. This helps them learn that their choices have effects, a life skill they need to master early.
If you stick to consistent rules, your child’s learning process will be running like a well-oiled machine within a few weeks!
Interact With the Curriculum
Virtual learning is new for a lot of teachers, students, and parents. However, one almost universal requirement is that the teacher introduces themselves to the parent and child before classes begin.
Just like at an open house, you can introduce yourself and use this time to ask questions. Give the instructor a heads-up about any unique things they should know about your little one.
While your child isn’t the only one in the classroom and the teacher is busy, there are some things that they need to know. These are beneficial for your child and will help the instructor know how to help them best. Be sure to communicate things like:
- How your child is best motivated
- Things you know will upset them.
- When you’re available for the teacher to reach out to you
- Your child’s favorite hobbies and interests
- Any health or behavioral issues that could affect their education
- Your child’s learning style
You’ll probably have forms to fill out, and you should expect to check your emails regularly. In these early grades, a lot of information is uncovered quickly about your child’s learning abilities. The teachers often connect with parents about concerns and feedback.
While you shouldn’t have to do your child’s work for them, you should monitor their assignments. Set aside time to help them with their homework. This allows for bonding, lets you see if they’re struggling or excelling, and shows your child that you support their education.
The most important thing you can do for your child besides loving them may help them enjoy reading. When you foster a love of reading in young ones, it follows them into every subject throughout their school career.
Their little one always observes a parent that reads. Even if you’re checking out the sports pages or a cereal box, your child is watching you.
You can strategically create a home that encourages literacy, warmth, and love by bringing in books. These simple tips will support the growth of their little minds and big imaginations:
- Make a reading nook.
- Load up on children’s books.
- Display letters and words around the house.
- Read with your child every night.
- Let them see you reading.
- Have lots of writing materials on hand for practice.
Literacy isn’t only about reading. It encompasses listening, speaking, and writing, too.
When you read to your child and have them read or pretend to read to you, you’re scaffolding them into their next level. There’s never a time when it’s too soon or too late to encourage literacy in any context.
The surest way to help your child thrive in their education is to teach them to read. A home that offers ample reading opportunities is more likely to mold a child who loves to learn.
Learn Your Child’s Style
Everyone has a different learning style. What works for you might not work for your child. What’s even more important to remember is that all of your children may have their unique style.
In K-2, most children learn with similar approaches. They must be exposed to new material and practice it consistently.
Children at this age need explicit instructions on what to do. Modeling a new skill multiple times is essential.
As you observe your child working, you will begin to notice patterns that help you gauge their learning style. Seven basic styles are recognized in education:
- Visual (spatial), or those who learn best by watching others
- Aural (auditory), or those who learn best by listening
- Verbal (linguistic), or those who learn best by expressing themselves in reading or writing
- Physical (kinesthetic), or those who learn best by manipulating items or moving
- Logical (mathematical), or those who learn best by using logic and reasoning
- Social (interpersonal), or those who learn best by working in groups or partners
- Solitary (intrapersonal), or those who learn best in quiet spaces working by themselves
Your child may exhibit one or many of these learning styles. When you find one that is evident, let their teacher know. They may have suggestions of how you can use that style to boost the student’s success.
When you see your child working in any style, give them frequent feedback combined with a lot of praise. If you must correct them, do so in a way that encourages them to continue rather than give up.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
You were once the age of your child, but what you went through then isn’t what your little one is going through now. Therefore, the way your life may have been structured and what you once did might not be feasible for your little one’s current situation.
Make your expectations consistent with all the distractions and concerns they might be experiencing.
Don’t forget that what they do depends significantly on what you’re doing. If you’re juggling a lot of roles and are unable to be there to guide your child, they’re probably not going to hit the targets you expect.
There is no right or wrong way to get through virtual learning, as long as you and your child are both doing your best. The ultimate goal is for them to feel safe and happy. The learning will come as a byproduct of those two factors.
Teachers should teach the curriculum. Parents should teach love and stability. These are two truths everyone can agree on.
However, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
For a teacher to truly impact a child, they must believe they are cared about and safe. And parents who love their children and want them successful will encourage their education.
It’s not always easy in these stressful times to do as much as you want to help your child learn. But, implementing these tips will give you the peace of mind of knowing you’re doing your best. Hope you love reading “Supporting Learning at Home”
Caitlin Sinclair is the Business Manager at Anson. With over five years of property management experience, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping current and future residents and makes Anson a place everyone loves to call home.
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