Tips for supporting your child with remote learning – while staying sane yourself!
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Your child’s teacher is obliged to give them a certain about of learning each day, but you are not obliged to do all of it! Put your family's mental health and wellbeing first, and make sure you are allowing for any practicalities. Just remember – any learning you can give your child will be helpful, but it’s totally unrealistic to expect remote learning to mimic face-to-face time in school. Give them what you can, and don’t feel guilty when you have to do the other things necessary to keep life ticking along.
2. Create a timetable that works for you.
Most children crave structure – it’s why they often behave better at school than they do at home because schools are able to keep a pretty rigid structure in place which is hard to mimic at home! Some families will be able to replicate that structure by creating a timetable of events throughout the day, whereas others will find it easier to write a list of everything that needs to be done during the day and ticking it off as they go along. Make sure to block out some rest time too!
3. When they’re resisting, try the ‘when-then’ technique.
We’ve all experienced it before – a stamped foot, a pouty lip, a yell of ‘but I don’t WANT to!’ One way to deal with it is to try using when and then in a sentence. “When you’ve done your independent maths work, then you can have 30 minutes on the tablet’. It shows the child that they can get what they want, but emphasises that it will only happen when they’ve completed their task!
4. Stay in communication with teachers.
Teachers are amazing. They’ve spent a whole Christmas holiday preparing for face-to-face lessons, only to have to pivot at the very last second. Channel their amazingness by communicating with them! Let them know if you are experiencing any difficulties, and keep them up to date with progress. They are going to be missing your child, and, like you, they want the best for them. They will be able to help you out with anything that you need.
5. Work within your child’s attention span.
There’s an adage among teachers that the amount of time you can reasonably expect a child to concentrate on one activity for is their age plus 2. That means a six-year-old child can concentrate for about 8 minutes. Some days it’ll be a bit more, other day’s it’ll be a bit less. If you are getting nowhere, don’t flog a dead horse – take a break and return to it later, if there’s time.
6. Keep the big picture in mind.
Be kind to yourself, and to your children! We are living through something incredible, and everyone will deal with it differently. In the scheme of things, whether or not your child completes a particular activity, or gets any learning time on a particular day, makes very little difference. As long as they get some learning, some of the time, they will be fine. It’s more important that they have a roof over their heads, food to eat and a happy, healthy adult to take care of them.
7. If you need some extra support – we’re here.
If you feel that your child might benefit from some extra support, get in touch with us. We can offer 1:1 and small group support that will ensure that your child continues to make progress each week. We can take into account what their teacher is asking them to do and help with that. We can make sure they are challenged if the work is too easy, and supported if it’s too hard. We only use qualified, experienced primary school teachers whose job it is to assess your child, work out what they need and to make sure they get it – it’s what we live for!
Contact Karen on firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for more information or to set up a call today.