July 27, 2020 – AWE Learning Staff
With the impact of COVID-19, are you having a hard time motivating your child to learn? The school year is just around the corner, and whether your district is planning completely remote learning, in-person instruction, or a hybrid model, it is important to keep students inspired to learn. While becoming even more evident during these challenging times, we must remember that learning is not limited to just the classroom setting. Create an environment at home that helps children develop their literacy skills and grow academically.
We have often viewed a “typical school day” as attending school for in classroom instruction (with time for lunch, and recess in the early grades), approximately 9am – 3pm Monday through Friday, with extra-curricular activities after school. Remote and hybrid learning will certainly alter what we have perceived as a “typical school day.” While recess and extra-curricular activities might not be part of the day-to-day routine like we’re used to, it is still important to keep children on a schedule. Let your young learners help you create an agreed upon schedule. Much like when teachers have their students help them create their classroom rules, they are more likely to follow them, when children help their parents or guardians build a schedule, they are more likely to adhere to it.
Designate a time in your daily schedule for family reading time; this will give everyone a chance to read individually or participate in a read aloud. Many students get caught up in their daily academic requirements from school. While these are topics and skills that are critical in their academic growth, children also need to read books, articles, etc. on topics they are interested in. This will not only grow their knowledge, but also help them enhance their literacy skills.
Receiving feedback on a task has proved to be very helpful in improving our expertise. Students are often stuck on grades; while grades are important, feedback assists students in analyzing and improving their errors. While schools and teachers are still planning how assessments will occur in remote or hybrid learning, parents should still provide feedback to their children on their work to best help them grow. Give children the opportunity to grade themselves. If they provide their completed assignments with a quantitative score using a given rubric, it gives them the opportunity to take an objective look at their own work.
Encourage your children by praising their accomplishments. We all love positive feedback whether it is on a simple task, or a more difficult assignment. With online learning, children are not going to be spending as much time (if any time), face-to-face or one-on-one with their teacher. Therefore it is imperative for parents to provide them with positive words, even if it is for simple assignments or for small steps towards a larger goal.
Whether it is moving from the storytime carpet back to their individual desks, walking to art or music class, or playing on the playground during recess, children are accustomed to moving around their school building and classroom throughout the day. Give your child resources to take brain breaks, opportunities to step away from their desk for a few minutes, or even set up Zoom calls with friends for distanced playdates. Children are active and social, and while we are currently limited in what they can do, parents can help children adjust to best cope during these challenging times.
Most importantly, it is imperative to be supportive. Be there for your children to talk to. Give them the opportunity to be open and speak their mind. Give them an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, and positive reinforcement to help keep their head up. Adjustments are being made day to day on what school will look like this year, but by staying positive, together we can get through this.