Distance Learning – Guide for Parents
1. Establish routines and expectations
It is important to develop good habits from the start. Create a routine. Chunk your days into predictable segments. Help students get ready to learn.
2. Choose a good place to learn
Your family’s regular learning space for occasional homework might not work for extended periods. Set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and has a good internet connection. Make sure an adult monitors online learning but that children are also allowed to build independence. Ask your teachers how this can best be supported.
3. Stay in touch
Teachers will be communicating regularly through our online platforms and virtual learning environments. Stay in contact with classroom and support teachers, but please be patient as it may take time to address everyone’s needs. If you have concerns, let someone know.
4. Help students and families
No one expects parents to be full-time teachers. Provide support and encouragement and expect your children to do their part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice. At The Bridge School, your child engages with other students and any number of adults. These social interactions will continue from a distance, but they will be different. You cannot replace them all and that’s OK.
5. Begin and end the day by checking-in
In the morning, you might ask:
• What classes/subject do you have today?
At the end of the day you might ask:
• What did you like today?
These check-in routines can help children practice communicating about their experiences which helps develop self-determination skills.
6. Establish times for quiet and reflection
For families with children of different ages, and parents who may also be unexpectedly working from home more often, it’s good to build in some time for peace and quiet. Siblings may need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. Many families will need to negotiate access to devices, priorities for wi-fi bandwidth and schedules throughout the day. Noise-cancelling headphones are an idea.
7. Encourage physical activity and exercise
Living and working at home, we will all need some room to let off steam. Moving is vital to health, wellbeing, and readiness for learning.
8. Monitor time on-screen and online
Distance learning means students are looking at computer screens for longer periods than they may be used to. Teachers will aim to build in variety, but it will require some trial and error before everyone finds balance between online and close-space offline learning experiences. Work together to find ways to prevent ‘down time’ from becoming just more ‘screen time’.