If you are anxious about successfully navigating distance learning, know that we have the right tools and structure to facilitate a successful year. Also, remember that you are not alone, and many parts of the country are in the same position with changes occurring frequently. Here are some tips just for you to help ensure a positive learning experience:
- Remember You are Not the Teacher
Take a moment to exhale! It is helpful to create and maintain a consistent structure, schedule, and environment that best meet your child where they are educationally and developmentally.Breaking up Younger elementary school students have shorter attention spans and require more oversight and support than upper elementary and middle school students. All students need eLearning breaks, but older students should be able to work with some degree of autonomy and only receive help when they ask for it.
- Create a Conducive Learning Environment
Designate a specific area from which the student will do their schoolwork every day, and involve your child in the process of designing a space . Giving them ownership of this process encourages creativity, independence, and instills accountability. This will also give you insight into how your child learns best. At Hillbrook, we know that flexible learning spaces maximize student learning and engagement and so our classrooms are equipped with wiggle stools, floor cushions, and whiteboard tables that flip and are on wheels so that students and teachers can adapt the space for the learning that is happening and to meet the needs of the child. Learning through a screen is hard work - and children and doing a phenomenal job adapting. Consider adding a potted plant, a tabletop rock garden or fountain, a squishy or a fidget cube to help redirect, calm, and refocus your child. Finally, consider giving your child space to do independent work but also find a spot where you can still be easily available in case they have questions or need support throughout the day.
- Maintain Your Home Routines
Consistency is key. Whatever your routine is for a typical work-school week should be maintained as much as possible. This includes bedtimes and morning routines. Getting dressed as if your student was going to school can help them plan for a learning mindset. Many schools, including Hillbrook, are asking children to dress in their uniforms whether they are attending learning on campus or virtually. Consistent expectations help establish routines that provide students with a sense of predictability and comfort. Shared expectations for on-campus and off-campus learning promotes a sense of equity and consistency. We are happy to work with you/your child if uniform wear, particularly for distance learning, is a struggle
Finally, continue to read with younger students and to coach older students to dedicate time to reading each day (children should engage in at least 20 minutes of independent reading time a day).