Helping Parents During Distance Learning
With the quick switch to distance learning for the majority of schools last year, parents often felt helpless and confused as to what their children were learning and how well they were learning it. With the uncertainty of what this school year will look like, parents are again concerned about distance learning and how they can better help their children learn without feeling overwhelmed themselves. The writer of this article gives four recommendations to assist parents in understanding the learning process and also be a partner in providing the information needed to assess learning.
Give the Scope
The first recommendation is to give the scope of what needs to be learned. Explaining the full scope of the curriculum will help parents to see how individual lessons can build to what ultimately needs to be learned. Giving the parents real world examples will assist them in reinforcing the lessons.
Communicate Learning Goals
The second recommendation it to communicate learning goals. Parents need to be able to define the learning goals and targets. A great way of doing this is to frame what needs to be learned with “I Can” statements. Ask them, “What can you do with what you’ve learned?” It becomes easier to see if the student has learned what they need to through their answers to “I Can” statements.
Give Them Resources
Providing resources is the third recommendation. Parents need the tools to deepen and extend the learning. Not only do they need to know the tools but also how to effectively use them. Parents need to know what best works for their children. They do not need to the mechanics behind the tools—just that they will work for their children.
Finally, teachers need to encourage flexibility. Parents want the ability to be flexible in how their children accomplish the learning goals. Students learn in different ways and parents will help their students learn in a way that works best for their child. As long as the students are learning the necessary curriculum, teachers can be flexible in how they teach it.
Communicating clear learning goals, giving necessary resources to reach them, and supporting families to learn in a way that works best for them will go a long way in assisting parents trying to help their children during distance learning.