If you’re working full-time from home while also adjusting to your kids being there around the clock thanks to remote learning, you’re probably seeing sides of them you hadn’t before. You might see them slacking off a bit without a teacher there to keep them on track. They might be taking breaks a little too frequently or walking away from their work whenever they get bored.
To an extent, you can’t blame them. You’re probably facing many of these challenges yourself. Having so much freedom tempts you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise since there’s no one there telling you otherwise. Maybe you’re listening to loud music while you work. Or wearing sweats while on business calls. Maybe yourr starting work at 11 a.m. instead of 9. But if you children’s newfound freedom is causing them to fall behind in school, it’s time to take some initiative.
Remote learning can be difficult for kids. The limits of online schooling make it much harder for teachers to provide comprehensive learning plans. When their students have learning challenges or disabilities, the challenge becomes greater. Therefore, you must seek additional resources and make a plan to fill in the educational gaps for their children.
Remote learning intensifies pre-existing struggles
Remote learning has posed many new challenges for kids who were already struggling to keep up in school. Children with ADD, who already have trouble sitting still in the classroom, struggle even more when forced to sit through hours of required screen time. Kids who struggle verbally, whether with a stutter or painfully shyness, are even more hesitant to speak up during video learning sessions. Such challenges intensify with remote schooling — and parents must take it on themselves to find a solution.
So where do fathers come in? If it took working from home for you to realize your child is behind the curve, don’t give up hope. Instead, think of schooling from home as a blessing. If it wasn’t for remote-learning you may not have recognized this problem until much later. Now that you have recognized it, figure out how you can be proactive in preventing your kid from falling further behind.
Scheduling private time with teacher
A great first step is to talk to their teachers. See if they also are aware of your kids’ learning difficulties. While they may not be as attuned to your children’s educational weaknesses as you are, their teachers are aware that many kids are struggling to adjust to remote learning and should provide solutions for getting them back on track. If their teacher is willing, schedule a weekly or bi-weekly time for your children to attend one-on-one video sessions to work on subjects they’re struggling with.
If one-on-one sessions with the teacher isn’t an option, don’t worry. There are plenty of online learning resources to give your kids the extra help they need. Some websites provide links to online resources and platforms to help children with subjects they’re struggling in.
Finding freedom in the “new normal”
Your children may be struggling with online schooling because they don’t have other classmates around to keep them motivated. To cure this, find creative and safe ways for them to see their old friends. Reach out to their classmates’ parents to see if you can organize a day at the park when the kids can participate in socially distanced learning exercises. This could be writing math equations in chalk, acting out history lessons or having an outdoor spelling bee. As long as all social distance rules are followed, these playdates provide a healthy outlet for kids. It helps them get reacquainted with each other and offer an opportunity to get help from classmates who excel in subjects they struggle with. Remember, your kids have been deprived of normal socialization for almost a year; if anything, seeing their friends can bring back some normalcy.
If certain times of the day seem to be harder for your children to learn during, consider rearranging their schoolwork schedule. Work around their required online schooling sessions to give them breaks at times when they tend to be the least productive. A great thing about remote learning is the freedom and flexibility to choose when they do things, to some extent. So if one of your children is not a morning person, why should he start school at 8 a.m.? Let him sleep in and start the day when he is fully rested and ready to learn.
Setting up kids for online school success
While you may be enjoying all the extra time you have with your children because of remote learning, it’s important for you to establish that education comes first. If you see struggles because of distractions at home, a lack of socialization or because school’s just hard for them in general, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep them on track. Using online resources, taking advantage of the freedoms of schooling from home, and scheduling socially distanced playdates are all ways you can set up children success while they’re learning remotely.
About the author
Eric M. Earle is a Portland-based tutor and the founder of TutorPortland.com. He knows how challenging remote school has been for parents, so he co-founded ZoomTutor.com to fill in the gaps!
Remote learning photo: © Suzi Media / Adobe Stock.
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