COVID-19 Redefines Learning: At-Home Tips for Lake Country Parents
Updated: Apr 6
Due to COVID-19, parents across the Okanagan are preparing themselves for supporting their children with at-home instruction. Without a doubt, the consideration of this task can be challenging for parents, teachers and children alike.
Between school and work obligations, it’s rare for parents and children to have this much time together - so there’s excellent potential for bonding and reconnection. While parents are adjusting to this new scenario, it’s crucial to organize outside resources and positive avenues that will lead to greater success and transition. Whatever coping skills and educational supports you choose, it is essential to remember that you’re not alone on this journey and that your child’s teacher is just an email away. Set up your network, a.k.a. Lifeline
Check-in with other parents to see what they’ve found useful or to ask if they need help. Share your concerns and valuable hints. Set up a parent Zoom, Facebook group or a Whatsapp chat for you and other parents to connect, share interests, and support each other. When things get stressful - take a break, pick up the phone and call a friend, or get out into your yard. Whatever coping skills and educational supports you choose, it is essential to remember that you’re not alone on this journey and that your child’s teacher is just an email away. It will be vital for parents to brush up on their technical skills. If you aren’t up-to-date with online classroom tools your kids may already be familiar with, spend some time with Google Classroom, and video conferencing software like Zoom. The internet is rich with resources - check out educational platforms like:
• openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning - BC Education website with resources for parents • Khan Academy - free and world-class education for curious minds across the globe. • Duolingo - Learn a language for free. • Photomath - Scan. Solve. Learn. This app itself teaches you how to solve mathematical questions through step by step explanations and instructions. As you prepare for the new normal, here are a few more tips to help your family adjust to the new reality of learning at home. 1. Minimize Distractions: As much as you can, minimize distractions both in your physical and your digital environment. Close web browser windows not relevant to your learning, keep the TV off, put away phones. 2. Make Space for Learning Kids achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable and dedicated space devoted to learning. Ideally, this will be a different set-up than where they usually play games or watch television. Once it is all set up, check out their sitting and viewing posture. 3. Set Aside Time for Learning: Help your children by providing them with a structure and routine. But online learning doesn’t mean you have to schedule six-hour blocks, five days a week. Follow the teacher’s lead. Be flexible. Be patient. And be prepared for good days and bumpy ones. 4. Schedule Breaks Make sure your kids take plenty of breaks to get physical activity and time away from screens. Encourage them to get up, get some fresh air so that they are not sedentary for the entire day. 5. Devices and Screen Time To help minimize feelings of social isolation, encourage video chatting or text messaging rather than simply scrolling through social media. 6. Dust off Your Bookshelf Encourage print and book reading. Overuse of screens can have adverse impacts on young brains. Read together. Read out loud. Look at the pictures and talk about them. 7. Plan your Work and Work your Plan Proper planning can relieve stress for both children and parents. Check-in with your kids about their plans and help them develop a written schedule not only for the day but for the week as a whole. 8. Monitor the Progress and the Process Look at your children’s eyes to see if they are following along with the screen. Check if they’re taking notes or zoning out. Ask questions at the end of a lesson. It’s an essential practice to confirm that your children are indeed learning. 9. Not a Staycation Even though staying home from school might feel like a holiday, remind your kids that they’re not on vacation. Assignments, grades, requirements and tests aren’t going away just because classes have moved online. 10. Don’t forget to have fun! Please Remember... We are all faced with uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to monitor and take care of our mental health. If you need someone supportive to talk to, call the BC Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789 (no area code) at any time. For online information and self-management strategies for anxiety, visit AnxietyBC. If you need more information about local services, please call the Lake Country Health Resource Centre 778 215 5247. If it is an emergency, call 911.