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5 TIPS TO GIVE YOUR CHILDREN WHAT THEIR TEACHER CAN'T IN THE AGE OF COVID-19

Updated: Dec 12, 2020


Let's not kid ourselves. One of the scariest realities of COVID-19 is that it directly affected the current momentum (and perhaps the future trajectory) of your child's academic success. This is not only true for your school-aged children, but your young adult college students as well. who face uncertainty as university campuses oscillate in their decision making to safely maintain a reopening plan amidst a global pandemic.


Here are some things you can do to fill the inherent gaps of distanced learning:


Ask your child's teacher for the class syllabus, unit plan or weekly lesson plan. Having a sense of what is coming down pipe allows you to troubleshoot or anticipate the gaps. Currently, teachers are challenged with having to compress a week's worth of content into 1 - 4 hours of virtual or limited face-to-face instruction. Access to this information allows you to research additional lessons, activities or videos to compliment or enhance the planned lesson content prescribed by the teacher.


Identify your child's interests and celebrate them! Find creative ways to not only identify the things that your child takes an interest in, but allow your child to actively express what they like or want to do. While extra-curricular activities and after-school sports are restricted or not as widely available, take this time to really hone in on your child's creative pursuits, interests and goals. This is imperative to keep your child engaged in a capacity that isn't academic. And, even if their interest points them back to learning, experimentation or exploration, let it happen organically. You'd be surprised at what they share, and how easy it will be to support them in their pursuits.


Encourage your child to build healthy social relationships online. Following tip number 2, it is imperative that children maintain relationships with friends. Character development is an essential component of academic and creative progress. Connecting with old friends or fostering new relationships can reinforce positive aspects of your child's personal interests. If by social media or social distancing, please ensure that your children remain safe, both online and off.


Connect to social networks of parents and students. Community is KEY. You are not alone! In the same way, parents all across the world are reeling from the stressors of distance learning. The response to which is simpler than you think -- there is strength in numbers, and certainly power in community. Parter with other parents of your student's grade and/or subject area to share the burden of your experiences. Discuss what works for your household, and be willing to experiment with new approaches to distance learning. For parents whose children have returned to the classroom, this tip is also helpful, as your student is only getting a third of their teacher's full attention-- trust me. We have to be okay with naming that things are not the same. We also have to be okay with figuring out new ways in which to grow and learn as a community, rather than in the silos of our own homes. If we're "struggling" we might as well do it together.


Whether you've continued with distance learning or elected the brick and mortar approach, do not feel guilty or allow the judgment of others. As a parent, take confidence in the fact that you are fulfilling due diligence to make the best decisions for your students and your entire family. Our ultimate perspective is that it won't always matter where students are learning, but it will always matter how.


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