By Bridie McArthur
In the last year or so, many parents have suddenly picked up a new career: teaching. Your home is now populated by Zoom calls, technical issues, and maybe some stir-craziness (from all parties). Remote learning can be tough, draining, and even messy, but it can also be rewarding and an opportunity for a new, flexible form of learning.
Here are some tips from a teenager to help your children — and by extension, you — survive (and maybe even thrive!) in remote learning.
How can parents support kids during remote learning?
The pandemic has brought with it a lot of loss: concerts, holidays, seeing family and friends. Your children are also experiencing that loss in a hard-hitting way — they are losing a degree of their childhood, in-class learning, rites of passage that have been looked forward to for years. For senior students especially, in the years that 'matter most', we're at home, disconnected, with the loss or threat of loss of those rites of passage such as graduation, formal, and just being at school, soaking up the last stretch of their schooling journey. Understand that, help them to grieve and them to celebrate in new ways.
Zoom calls + free access to the pantry + close proximity to the TV/phone/computer/book does not equal a focused student! It can be hard to stay on track during remote learning, especially without the accountability of the classroom and teacher set-up. Check in with your kids, gently nudge them to get back on track, and maybe even indulge them with breaks. These breaks can be productive — puzzles, impromptu dance party, or some reading. For the more independent senior students, encourage them to chat (virtually) to friends, have some free time for social media and to do ‘teen things’. They'll appreciate the patience and space to rewind.
Do (lockdown-safe) activities
Engage your children and infuse variety into a lockdown filled with monotony. Go for walks if permitted by restrictions, have movie nights, play board games, try a new recipe, and/or video call family and friends. This is a way to break up the strain of remote learning and ensure there is balance in your children's routine.
Lockdown is hard, and so is remote learning, but with the support of parents, children can get through and even thrive. Wishing you stable internet connection, content kids, and sunny days to weather lockdown.