6 Distance Learning Tips for Parents



May 13, 2020


Distance learning was a foreign concept to many two months ago. But many parents around the world are now dealing with this new responsibility, and it is not easy! Good news is there are resources and tips that can bring you some peace of mind while you try to co-exist with your child(ren) 24/7. Let's start with an easy one.

1. Understand your child’s learning style

Everyone has their own learning style, and your child’s may be different from yours. Check out our blog on identifying and working with children of different learning styles!

2. Remove environmental distractions

Find a quiet and tidy spot that is free of distractions. Ideally, this spot is a desk away from the bed, however, it can be any space where your child feels comfortable and productive.

A consistent study spot works wonders: an academic environment can help jog your child’s memory when they are studying or even when taking a test!

Your Zoom meetings and other work obligations may keep you grounded, but distance learning can mean a lot more freedom in your child's study schedule. It is important to schedule a time for learning, a time for studying, and some time for breaks in between!

3. Be supportive when under stress

Distance learning is not only stressful for parents and teachers but for students as well. School in itself is stressful for many, but when taken out of a routine and that consistent study spot, your child now has more time to let their minds wander. They may be worried about their friends and feel disconnected.

However, this is the time when family is more important than ever. Pay attention to how your child responds on a daily basis. Do they have homework due soon? How are they reacting to current news topics? It’s good to step back and reflect on the outcomes you want for distance learning. Consider how you can use this opportunity to communicate more with your child and get in some bonding time rather than focusing only on academic outcomes.

4. Be patient and communicative

When helping your child with school work, avoid criticism and blame if they are not grasping the information well. Revisit their learning style if necessary. Listen to your child if they are struggling and seek to understand what is making them frustrated or stressed out. Communicate with them but if needed, don't feel discouraged. Try asking their teacher or a tutor. They can offer teaching styles that are more suited to your child's learning style. If your child is doing well in school and is self-sufficient, it is encouraged to not interfere with their studies, so they can develop their own time-management and study skills.

5. Use positive reinforcements

Children are more likely to perform better and be motivated when given praise and appreciation for doing a good job. Instead of punishment, practice offering:

  • Social reinforcers ("Good Job!")
  • Activity reinforcers (10-minute break)
  • Tangible reinforcers (toys, healthy snacks, etc)

These reinforcers will improve more than their attitude towards learning. Spending quality time and using positive words are great ways to bond with your child! Be mindful of still providing a balanced diet with healthy meals even if you do give healthy snacks.

6. Taking breaks

If your child’s school is using Google Classroom or having virtual lessons through video calls, that could mean a lot more screen time than usual. Not only can too much screen time cause eye strain but your child might need a break to help them re-engage on the learning. This is where routines and creativity can really help. Set aside time in between lessons and work time to allow for some fun activities away from the desk. Consider going out for a walk, doing light exercises, or any other activities that’ll get them moving.

Have you already been doing some of these at home? Which tip is your favorite? Leave us a note down below and stay tuned for more!

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