- Create an Optimal Learning Environment
- A shared family space so that you are accessible to check-in, monitor progress, and assist/support.
- A Quiet-Study/Learning Zone: Family agreement that the space is a “learning” space and learning expectations apply (non-distracting from peers, outside noise, avoid a child’s bedroom, etc.)
- Have resources/materials accessible (i.e. markers, paper, rulers, etc.) for your child to be successful with their activities. Plan ahead and review due dates to have materials ready.
- Proper desk/table and ergonomic seating that allows your child(ren) to be comfortable when learning.
- Begin/End each day with a check-in
- Start and finish each day with a simple check-in with your child(ren)
- Look at grade level assignment calendars together to review anything that is due.
- Check in with their virtual learning platforms to find any updates for the day.
- Review if any of their teachers have office hours that day and write questions down together that may need to be answered.
- Finally have a discussion and ask
- What are you learning today?
- What are the learning goals?
- How will you spend your time? (consider setting a schedule that can be easily followed by your children)
- What resources do you require?
- How can I help?
- Submit the daily attendance Google Form. Please note: This brief conversation matters. It allows children to process the instructions they’ve received from their teachers. It helps them organize and set priorities. Parents should establish these check-ins at regular times each day and possibly even write down a schedule for the day with further check-in times.
- Routines and Expectations for Learning at Home
- Set regular hours for learning. If possible, align these hours with the hours that your children are most attentive. These may be different for different children, respective of age and workload.
- Write down a schedule for each child (or if appropriate, have your child create a schedule) with built-in breaks for snacks, outdoor movement/ exercise and playtime. Check off items as completed -- children love the sense of accomplishment! Younger children might also be motivated by short goals, i.e. “complete two activities from your teacher and then we’ll play a family game.”
- Just as cellphones are kept in backpacks at school, you might also keep cellphones away at home until assignments are completed (or use as a social break after a certain number of assignments are completed).
- Maintain regular sleep routines and wake times.
- One challenge for families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children’s needs. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. Headphones can be a great opportunity for learners to focus and avoid distraction. Depending on the devices available in your home, you may also need to stagger the online work time for each child.
- Make sure your children remember to move and exercise.
- Plan regular opportunities to get up and move around
- Go outside and play and/or encourage your child(ren) to do something helpful around the house
- Support their Learning Socially
- Distance learning opportunities may include collaborative group assignments/projects. Monitor these for/with your child(ren) as online social interaction will enhance the experience for your child(ren).
- If the teacher offers an “office hour” try to join in, as this can be an opportunity for peer-to-peer feedback, group discussions, sharing ideas, etc.
- In addition to the “check-ins,” regularly engage with your child(ren) about what they’re learning throughout the day. Completing lessons with your child is one way this can be accomplished.
- Maintain Social Opportunities for your Children
- If available, plan times your child(ren) can interact with others (same compound, family members, club/activity, etc.)
- Monitor your children’s social media use, especially during an extended campus closure. Older students will rely more on social media to communicate with friends. Social media apps such as TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned channels of communication.
- Responsible Use of Technology
When completing work online, joining video calls and/or participating in virtual discussions, students should be sure to:
- Use respectful behavior and language.
- Stick to appropriate topic discussions.
- Send only appropriate video transmissions.
- Use only appropriate icon, emoji, and avatar submissions.
- Wear school appropriate clothing if attending meetings via video.
- Be honest and use academic integrity by not plagiarizing or copying others’ work
- Not falsify information about oneself or impersonate others online.
Everyone is encouraged to ask themselves:
- Who in the neighborhood might be able to look after several familys’ children?
- How can a neighborhood or friendship group use a rotation schedule to provide supervision for students?
- Who in the neighborhood is really "tech savvy" and willing to help teach others how to use the online tools that are available to students?
- How might older siblings and students be able to support the learning of younger children?
- In what ways can neighbors and friendship groups share technology tools?