While many of us want to put the nightmare of virtual schooling during the Covid pandemic behind us, sadly it’s still very much a reality for many students in many situations. Covid and exposure-quarantines still occur regularly in schools and can often cause a disruption in learning. Don’t get me wrong, online education has its benefits. If your child is sick or recovering from surgery, having everything available at the press of a button is helpful so your teen doesn’t fall behind, but it can still be challenging for students to be successful. Here are a few basic tips and strategies for helping your teen survive quarantine or long-term schooling at home.
Make a Schedule
If your student is required to Zoom into class at specific times, the schedule is less important as they are still following their hourly “bells.” It’s the asynchronous learning that allows students to work on what they want at their own pace, which can be problematic. Most of the time, this means staying up late to play video games and waking up around noon to check for assignments and push them off until tomorrow. This is the black hole of asynchronous learning. Even students with the best of intentions can fail without structure and accountability. Help your child create a reasonable schedule: wake up around 8:00, chunk school work into morning and afternoon portions, and schedule several breaks! Having an achievable goal is the first step!
Check the Online Platforms Regularly
Most schools have some form of an online learning system. Whether it’s Canvas, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Empower, you name it, schools are making the move to nearly completely digital learning. Students and guardians can check grades for all of their classes, view missing assignments, message teachers, and utilize helpful resources like reminders and calendars all in one convenient online location. Teachers work hard to create user-friendly platforms that are designed to be guidance for students when working on their own. This is also one of the hidden powers of parents and guardians. You can hold your student accountable with the use of an app on your phone.
Open Communication with the Teachers…. and Teach Your Student to Do the Same
Finally, the best advice for any student forced to quarantine or learn remotely, communicate with your teachers. It can save a lot of frustration for everyone involved if guardians and students just ask the questions up front. Teachers are people too. They didn’t get into college debt to deliberately ruin opportunities for teenagers, they genuinely want to help and make the experience go as well as possible. Encourage your student to compose an email to their teacher. It’s a good practice for students to get more comfortable with and allows them some independence when they encounter an obstacle.
Remote learning can definitely be a difficult experience, but if you find yourself in that situation, don’t forget these simple strategies to make it just a little better.