As schools begin to shutdown again, let’s pause and take a moment to breathe and reflect. With so many things outside of our control, it’s reasonable to feel anxious and stressed again. It’s important to recognize that our children can sense it too and need our support to feel a sense of security. We recognize the challenges of distance learning and we hope to share three tips to ease some of the tension and support families during this transition.
Learning from home can be quite the challenge for everyone involved. The lack of structure and designated spaces for work and relaxation can leave us feeling disorganized and overwhelmed. Research suggests that creating a simple routine with general times built in for learning, decompressing, and socializing can alleviate stress and promote learning. Routines establish a rhythm for the school day and allow students to balance work and play more effectively, taking breaks supports learning so it’s important to be intentional about maintaining this balance. There is no need to plan out every minute of your child’s day, but establishing a basic framework for the school day can help kids feel more secure and confident about learning.
Creating a checklist of tasks to break down the routine can help your child monitor and visualize their progress and receive more consistent feedback. Providing your child with verbal feedback or placing stickers and checkmarks on their checklist as they complete tasks can help with motivation and work completion. It can be overwhelming for students to learn asynchronously without real-time feedback from their teachers. It’s important to stay involved in your child’s learning and providing consistent feedback along the way can reinforce positive learning habits and set them up for success as independent learners in the future.
Make Time For Play
In addition to creating systems and routines for learning, it’s important to be intentional about playing and socializing. Social-emotional learning is critical and creating a social bubble with trusted friends or neighbors can help children feel a sense of normalcy. If you do not feel comfortable with social bubbles, scheduling a virtual play date, calling relatives, or playing outside with your child can make a huge difference.