Is online schooling lasting longer than you thought it would? Here are five ways to help you and your child succeed.
Most parents in America faced an enormous, unexpected task — to simultaneously work and transition to the role of teacher during this pandemic. The quick transition to online schooling gave little time for parents to receive guidance or instruction on supporting their children’s online schooling. The enormity of this task has been difficult for many parents.
However, the importance of supporting children’s emotional well-being through this transition remains the same, and parents’ ability to manage their children’s anxiety around the changes in their lives is paramount to their emotional well-being and academic success.
Here are five ways to help parents succeed through the online schooling experience.
- Develop a routine for homeschooling to provide children with structure, which is important for them to thrive in times of calamity.
- Create a study environment that is free from distractions and is conducive to learning.
- Follow the typical format of their school day, as it helps children transition to homeschooling more easily and prepares them for seamless transitions back and forth between ‘brick and mortar’ and virtual school, as may be required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Adjust the time of instruction based on your child’s age and attention span, incorporating frequent breaks between periods of study and time for exercise.
- Encourage questions to address worries and prevent inaccurate conclusions. Be ready to answer questions as honestly as you can.
Each child, whether in regular or special education, has an educational plan to guide their learning. Your child’s teachers should continue to be reachable daily to address any concerns you may have. Partnering with your child’s teachers can help you to adjust the study plan based on their knowledge of how your child learns.
Academic learning and success is closely tied to the social-emotional development component of schooling. As your child’s home teacher, remember to celebrate your child’s successes through positive reinforcement, such as verbal praise, incentive stickers and other rewards, and facilitating virtual playdates with their friends.
If your child has a Section 504 Plan or Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP, by law they are required to continue to receive as many of their accommodations and services as can be safely administered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liaising with your school’s special education support team may be necessary to ensure seamless virtual transition of your child’s plan.
Finally, to be our children’s best teacher, we must take care of our own emotional health through self-care and social connectedness, even as we maintain physical distance.
Visit UFHealthJax.org/psychiatry to learn more about our mental health and wellness services for children and adults. We are now offering convenient, online virtual visit appointments from the comfort of your home.