With Covid cases on the rise and the emergence of new variants, parents and children may feel anxious about the possibility of having to return to remote learning for at least a part of the school year. Given this possibility, it's important to consider the best ways you can support your child during both remote and ansynchronous learning.
Learning from home can be stressful for parents and children. Parents can feel anxious about helping their children during remote learning and overwhelmed as they also try to manage other commitments. Children may struggle to focus on their schoolwork while at home and have anxiety about their parent taking on a teacher role. These are normal responses to these kinds of situations.
It can help to take a moment for parents to acknowledge the losses they and their children may be having. Learning from home can be challenging, especially when there is an unexpected change from in-person to remote learning. Hopes and plans for the week may be altered which can cause stress for all. Recognizing this layer of your experience can help prevent taking stress out on one another.
All relationships have different dynamics. The way a child interacts with their teacher differs from how they interact with their parent. As such, when parents take on the role of teacher, this can cause anxiety and confusion for children as their mom or dad is teacher by day and parent by night. It's important to keep this in mind and respond with patience, understanding, and kindness when children get upset.
If you are experiencing conflict in your relationship, you can help alleviate pressure by taking a step back from being "the teacher" to your child, and instead offer support as their parent. During remote or asynchronous learning, parents can support their child's ability to engage with and complete the lessons from the teacher by helping the child log onto the remote lessons, setting up the child's workspace, helping the child plan when they will complete work and when they will take breaks, and helping the child communicate with their teacher if they have questions.
Turning to the teacher or classmates for support is a healthy way for your child to get help with school work. Parents can encourage this by helping their child reach out for clarification - by email, message, phone, etc.; asking their teacher to post detailed instructions with assignments; or encouraging their child to reach out to classmates if they have questions.
Remember that remote or asynchronous learning is going to look different than in-person learning; children may not be able to work at the same level as when they are in school. This is okay and to be expected. Maintaining a positive relationship with your child should take priority over any given assignment, as conflict in your relationship can cause schoolwork to be more challenging for your child and can lead to unhappiness.