Last school year, school buildings abruptly closed across the country leaving families scrambling to adjust to school through remote learning. In Indianapolis, students attending both public and private schools must return to remote learning by November 30, 2020 and remain through January 15, 2021.
This time, families had time on their side. Here are some key points families should consider to ensure this round of remote learning goes well or at least better than the last time.
Have an area in your home set up for remote learning.
Parents don’t necessarily have to buy a desk and fancy items. Students only need an area free of distraction to have their computer and a place to write in a notebook. Even though children are turning in work online, they may still need to do some work with paper and pencil. The background behind students should not be distracting. If there is not a space without visual distractions, students can use a virtual background instead.
Be patient with technology issues.
Parents should know who the technology person is for their children’s school. The technology person should be contacted first. If parents start with the teacher, the teacher will probably reach out to the tech person. However, parents should keep the teacher in the loop about any technology issues that would prevent their children from completing work so the teacher can make alternate plans until the technology issues are resolved.
Children can look like they are working, but they might not be. Maybe they are working, but they overlooked a task. It is time-consuming for teachers to reach out to families for every single missed assignment. It would be helpful if parents are monitoring. Parents should check their children’s work at the end of the day. They don’t have to hover all day long … unless their children need adult proximity to be the most productive.
Inform the teacher of schedule changes.
For in-person instruction, parents typically called the school in advance if their child had an appointment; parents should do the same for remote instruction. Attendance is still being taken. Children are still responsible for the content they missed during their absence.
Understand remote learning changes.
Policies may have shifted to better suit remote learning. Parents should know the late work policy and how work will be graded. They should also be aware of how accommodations for special education students or English language learners will be implemented.
Make sure children are emotionally well.
Remote learning can be tough on students. They can’t hug their friends or teachers. They are not getting out of their homes enough. School is not normal. Children may have some bottled up emotions. Parents should make sure they are keeping a pulse on how their children are doing. They should talk to them about their feelings, so they are heard. If they need some additional emotional support, parents should reach out to the school for recommendations.
Remote learning may not be the ideal for all children, but parents can make remote learning the best it could be by implementing these tips.