Establish routines and expectations - It is important to develop good habits from the start. Create a flexible routine and talk about how it’s working over time. Chunk your days into predictable segments. Help students get up, get dressed and ready to learn at a reasonable time. Keep normal bedtime routines, including normal rules for screen time. Adjust schedules to meet everyone’s needs but don’t default to staying up late and sleeping in! After all, we still are in school… just not in the building.
Choose a good place to learn -Your family’s regular learning space for occasional homework might not work for extended periods. Set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and has a good internet connection. Make sure an adult monitors online learning. Keep doors open, and practice good digital safety.
Stay in touch -Teachers will mainly be communicating regularly through our online platforms and virtual learning environments. If you have a question, email/ call your teacher, join the optional family Zoom, and/or reach out to the front office.
Help students ‘own’ their learning -No one expects parents to be full-time teachers or to be educational and content matter experts. Provide support and encouragement, and expect your children to do their part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice. We encourage students to grapple and problem solve at Park, so don’t rush to help.
Begin and end the day by checking-in with your child -
In the morning, you might ask:
- What classes/subject do you have today?
- Do you have any assessments or assignments you need to complete?
- What resources do you need?
- What can I do to help?
At the end of the day you might ask:
- How far did you get in your learning tasks today?
- What did you discover? What was hard?
- What could we do to make tomorrow better?
These brief grounding conversations matter. Not all students thrive in distance learning; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. These check-in routines can help avoid later challenges and disappointments. They help students develop self-management and executive functioning that are essential skills for life.
We are thankful for our Park community and our teachers!
Marie Voss-Patterson and Laurel Pate