by Karen Gibson
Are you a parent of a child about to start the new school year with distance learning? I’ve seen the fears and frustrations of my students and parents as Hawaii continues the school year with distance-learning.
As an educator for over 25 years, I’ve tried a variety of teaching strategies. I’ve been sharing parenting tips to empower students for distance learning success on my YouTube channel, Letting Go with Aloha. I also started a “Mama’s Gotta Let Go” Facebook group named after my book Mama’s Gotta Let Go: How to Let Go without Losing Your Sanity to provide support for stressed-out moms.
As many parents find their hair turning white at the thought of defining their role in their child’s distance-learning education, I find the following three parenting tips helpful in preventing both parents and children from losing their sanity while experiencing a successful semester this school year.
1. Practice Patience
Remind your child and yourself that regardless of how prepared teachers are, technical challenges, focusing issues, and virtual learning will be filled with endless opportunities to practice patience.
It may not be wise to focus on academic goals during this trial-and-error phase of teaching during a pandemic. Your child’s mental health should become a top priority rather than earning high grades and completing every assignment. Engage in conversations, discuss any fears as well as unrealistic expectations.
Children will worry less if they know that “this, too, shall pass” and they will get through this challenging phase. We don’t give our kids credit for being resilient learners.
2. Keep in Touch
Keep in touch with your child’s teachers, counselors, and administration. Ask for tech support, resources, and contact information so you are able to communicate with them on a regular basis.
3. Provide Their Own Space
Designate a specific work area – where there are minimal distractions – with the necessary school supplies such as pencils, scratch paper or any materials related to their distance learning lessons. Don’t forget to provide water and snacks, as well as a way to contact you in case they need assistance with technical challenges.
Distance learning has become such a controversial topic, but with the rising COVID-19 cases, I personally believe the safety of our children should be a top priority. I’ve experienced successful virtual tutoring sessions by implementing non-traditional teaching strategies. I have faith that our students will rise to the challenge and show us that they will exceed our expectations.
KAREN GIBSONis an author, private tutor and a life coach. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram (Mama’s Gotta Let Go). Subscribe to her YouTube Channel (Letting Go with Aloha). Visit her website, LettingGoWithAloha.com.