Distance Learning: Tips (and Encouragement) for Parents

“Distance Learning Day One: 2 students suspended for fighting and teacher drinking on the job.” You’ve probably seen this and similar memes if you have any time these days to check social media. Joking aside, there are good reasons why it is challenging to homeschool children while also working from home. This is even harder if all of us—teachers, kids and parents—are learning new routines, new technology, and new roles. IT IS A LOT! And remember, our brains might not be in optimal concentration for new learning mode because of all the stress associated with these changes and general worry about our family’s and friends’ well-being. You (and your kids) will not be as productive as you were a month ago. Period.

So, give yourself a break. This is overwhelming. This is frustrating. This is unprecedented. There have been tears (about 50/50 split between my daughter and me). I don’t know how folks who have more than one child are doing it. It is difficult in the middle (Are we in the middle? Hard to know) of a crisis to know how things will change, but it will not be like this indefinitely. A new normal will be established. There will be time for children to get back on track academically. Meanwhile, this may be a time where they improve other skills, like cooking, keyboarding, sending snail-mail to grandparents, or writing and illustrating their own experiences during this historic adventure. And YOU—give yourself permission to unplug and take a break from sudden 24/7 family time to take a bubble bath or a walk by yourself. You are modeling good self-care and you will be better able to juggle all these roles if you do. You will get back into your groove eventually.

That’s my excuse for not getting this blog written sooner—that and the science test and a wonky internet connection and a ton of other interruptions. But hey, (deep breath), we’ll get through this. One day at a time.

Resources for Parents:

Anxiety in Kids and Teens

Behavior Management

Identifying signs of stress in your children and teens (from the American Psychological Association)

Stress and the Way We Think

ADHD and Distance Learning

Learning at Home & Routines

ODD, ADHD and Stress

Managing Anxiety and Enhancing Self-Care: Supporting Youth and Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic


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