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Remote Learning Resources for Families

Our shift to remote learning comes at a time when families are already experiencing disruption to their routines and priorities.  While remote learning may offer welcome structure and connections with others, the transition may be challenging.  The guidelines that follow are designed to support caregivers and promote self-direction in our students as we transition to remote learning.
 

Supporting Your Student

Caretakers and families play a big part in supporting students’ thinking and learning.  Here are some general tips to keep in mind as you support your student during these times and with remote learning.

1 — Social & Emotional Support

The health and well-being of our students, families, and staff is our top priority.  It’s important to be mindful of your child’s stress level resulting from the change in routines, news, and world events.  Children of all ages are also sensitive to the stress and anxiety that they perceive in their family and loved ones.

  • Develop a schedule together with your child.  Organize the day to include time for learning, choice time, home activities, and exercise.  If you'd like to see a template of what a daily schedule could look like, please scroll down to our "Daily Remote Learning Checklist."
  • Check in with your child about their feelings and fears and offer comfort, honesty, and reassurance.
  • Establish times for quiet and reflection - mindfulness exercises such as meditation and yoga are helpful for all ages.

If illness in your family makes it difficult for your child to participate in remote learning, please be sure to share your situation with their teachers.  Together, our educators will help you access resources and support.

2 — Stay Connected

Staying connected to our friends and family is especially important during these times where we are unable to see those we love in person.  Children are especially affected by the recent feelings of disconnect.

  • Support your child if they wish to chat with friends.  There are many ways to stay connected - phone calls, video chats, and instant messages are common.
  • Write letters or draw pictures for family members and friends to stay connected in ways outside of electronics.

3 — Keep Active & Creative

Remember to incorporate time to move and be creative.  It’s natural for students to need to get up, move around, and wiggle.  Exercise helps children maintain good physical and mental health. Fun, creative projects outside of school-work also help keep minds busy and days structured.

  • Set expectations that your child engages in some form of physical exercise each day.   It is also important for caregivers to model and encourage exercise.
  • You may also think about how your child can help with chores or responsibilities at home.
  • Participate in activities as a family - take walks, ride bikes, or play some backyard sports together, if possible.  It’s also important to set aside time to read, no matter your age. Reading can be a family activity, such as creating a designated “family reading” time in the evening or reading books together at bedtime.
  • Music is also a wonderful outlet.  Some students benefit from music breaks during the school day to help them energize and re-focus.
  • When you can, plan or cook meals together as a family.

4 — Maintain Normalcy

Routines help restore a sense of normalcy.  Many things are new and changing for both children and adults, and maintaining established routines - or creating new ones - are incredibly important.

  • Maintain a familiar rhythm of the day by keeping up with before- and after-school routines.  Start the day with getting dressed, brushing teeth, and eating a solid breakfast as usual. Follow up with after-school activities by relaxing, going outside (if possible), and spending time with family.

5 — Create a Supportive Environment

It’s important for students to have a learning environment in which they feel comfortable and supported.  Although it’s not possible to fully imitate a classroom setting, you can work together to create an educational space.

  • Create a special space for your student to work and help them feel that their work is important and that their efforts are valued.
  • If possible, limit noise or distractions around your student’s workspace.  While every house has a unique set-up, it’s important to try and remove as many distractions as possible.  For younger learners, this may mean moving some toys into a different room.
  • Students should take brain breaks and move regularly as they engage in schoolwork and activities.  It’s natural for children to move regularly and take periodic breaks as they study. It’s also important for them to have access to water and snacks at their convenience.
  • Remote learning offers an opportunity for you to help your student develop or continue using great organizational skills.  Give your student the opportunity to organize their learning space in a way that makes sense to them and where they know where each of their resources are.  Allowing them to have a space for their pencils, notebooks, markers, and other materials will help them develop organizational skills that can be reinforced for the coming weeks and beyond.

6 — Healthy Habits & Academic Support

It’s important to engage with your student’s academics to help them feel that their work is valued.  During these times of remote learning, your student will also need your help keeping centered and organized.

  • Discuss what your student is learning and ask questions.  This also helps cement the topics and ideas that they’re learning in their class(es).
  • Come up with a schedule, but let your child have input!  Set aside study times, break times, and recreation times that make the most sense for your child and family.
  • There will be scheduled times when students are encouraged to join their teacher or class in a remote learning activity or video check-in.  Your child may need your help to be available for participation during these times.
  • Talk to your student about the expectations for their behavior in live online meetings.  Emphasize that the live online meeting is a classroom and the expectations for behavior are the same as when they go to school.
  • Your student may need help balancing screen time and non-screen time activities, both during and outside of the school day.  It’s important to be mindful of screen time, especially in these times of being inside at home during long stretches of the day.  Consider limiting phone/social media access during work/school time.

If you do not have internet access at home, please let your student’s teacher(s) know.  We are here to help your student succeed in every way possible.

Teachers will communicate regularly through email or by phone. These check-ins will inform you about expectations for learning, as well as how your child is progressing.  If you have a question or concern about your child’s learning, don’t hesitate to initiate contact with your child’s teacher.

Remote learning does not mean that your child will be online and/or working with a device all day.  For that reason, we are working to strike the right balance between pencil and paper practice, virtual gatherings and assigned work.  We expect to make adjustments as we learn, too. We thank you for your patience and partnership!

 

Setting Up Your Student for Success

If you'd like some examples of how to help your student prepare for their day - before, during, and after learning - we've compiled some tips for setting up your student for success.

Before learning, help your student...

  • Follow daily morning before-school routines as usual: eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, etc.
  • Prepare their learning environment for comfort and productivity (if possible, free from distractions, such as siblings), including water and snacks
  • Set up charged, ready-to-go devices
  • Open and log into educational platforms for the day
  • Check any teacher notifications
  • Use a planner or notebook to plan out their school day routine, assignments, and due dates

Please remember to check your parent email before and during the school day for teacher updates, notifications, and announcements.

During learning, encourage your student to...

  • Begin assignments in order and fashion outline by their teacher(s)
  • Ask questions to their teacher(s) using online communication tools
  • Take breaks!  Shift from planning to doing, drink water and eat a snack or lunch, get up and stretch - and wash hands!

After learning, remind your student to...

  • Submit assignments to their teacher(s)
  • Charge their device for the next day
  • Clean up work space - put materials away and ready to go for the next day
  • Share some of their new discoveries or accomplishments with family or friends - in person, over the phone, or with a video chat.
  • Be proud of themselves for completing a day of school!