Remote Learning - Tips for Parents

Tips for Parents

Transitioning to remote learning can present huge challenges for families. Parents will need to think differently about how to support their children; how to create structure and routines that allow their children to be successful; and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. Some students will thrive with remote learning, while others may struggle. The tips provided below are intended to help you and your children find success during this period of remote learning.

Remote Learning - Tips for Parents

Parents are encouraged to set regular hours for their children’s school work. We suggest students begin their studies at 9:00am. Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children and expect the same from your MS- and HS-aged children, too. Your children should move regularly and take periodic breaks as they study. For elementary-aged children in particular, keep in mind that remote learning does not need to fill a full school day. Teachers will be setting goals for the amount of work to complete each day or weekly. If students finish early it is not necessary to fill in the rest of that time with additional schoolwork.

Your student may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time. We encourage families to establish a space/location where their student(s) will work throughout this time of remote learning. For younger students it may be useful if their learning space is in a public/family space so that parents can be present and monitor their child's progress while also engaging in their own work or daily activities. Older students may do well working in a more secluded location or some will still need more direct supervision. Design the work location based on what works best for your student(s).

Teachers have a variety of ways they will communicate depending on grade level. These are outlined more fully in the individual remote learning pages for Elementary and Secondary.

SCS encourages parents and students to contact their teachers whenever you have questions. Teachers will have set work hours, so may not always respond immediately, but should respond during the next designated work block. Please check with individual teachers regarding their schedules for more information.

Parents are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. In the morning, ask what is your student learning today? What are their learning targets or goals? How will they spend their time? What resources do they require? What support do they need? This brief grounding conversation matters. It allows students to process the instructions they’ve received from their teachers. It helps them organize themselves and set priorities. Older students may not want to have these check-ins with parents but it is still recommended. Parents should establish these check-ins as regular parts of each day. Not all students thrive in a remote learning environment; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. These check-in routines should be established early, before students fall behind or begin to struggle.

A challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children’s needs, especially when those children are different ages and have different needs. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. Parents can also experiment with noise-cancelling headphones to block out distractions. Some might find it works best to alternate working times so that they can focus on helping one child at a time. Try different methods to see what works for your family and then stick with it.

Make sure your children remember to move and exercise. This is vitally important to their health, well-being, and to their learning. Our physical education teachers will provide resources for students based on grade level and we encourage parents to take advantage of these. Also think about how your children can pitch in more around the house with chores or other responsibilities as this not only provides them with opportunities for movement but it helps you out too!

This is a difficult time for all of us, so be sure to monitor the impact it is having on your children. Some may struggle with isolation so we encourage you to take advantage of technology to help them stay connected with their friends. Also try to be cognizant of not transferring your own stress and worry to your children, as difficult as that may be. Above all else, talk to your children about their feelings and pray with them as often as possible to help them through this difficult time.

Like many of you, we do not want students staring at computer screens for 7-8 hours a day. As we continue this journey of remote learning, please remember that our teachers are new to this as well and are working hard to create the best remote learning experience possible for you and your children. This means it may take some trial-and-error before we find the right balance between online and offline learning experiences but we are dedicated to doing so. We thank you in advance for your patience and partnership and encourage you to provide teachers with feedback regularly.