For millions of students around the world, the past school year has been anything but ordinary. Forced to close their doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools brought classes online. Some students were able to make this transition successfully. But for most families, it has been a struggle to address remote learning challenges.
Following school closures, parents were on the verge of breaking down due to the stress of balancing their jobs, household chores, and overseeing their children’s schoolwork.
Undoubtedly, remote or distance learning comes with its own set of problems and issues. And most teachers, students, and families were not prepared for this abrupt change. And with schools implementing either fully remote or blended classes in the fall, parents are understandably concerned.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Recently, research and interviews with families have revealed the top remote learning challenges parents and students struggle with during this transition. So as we all gear up for the coming school year, it is time to take a closer look at these problems and find the best ways to address them.
Below, we list common remote learning challenges and what you can do to ensure your child succeeds in school.
Distraction and Lack of Motivation
Keeping children focused on their schoolwork is always a challenge–whether they’re learning inside a classroom or in front of a laptop on the kitchen counter. But it becomes a bigger problem as students must now try to take classes in environments not originally intended to support learning. Not to mention, the lack of in-person and hands-on instruction can also be discouraging for students who may need more guidance.
Learning from home also means students have to contend with distractions from video games, social media, and their siblings.
What You Can Do: Identifying clear, attainable, and measurable goals are vital to ensure your child stays motivated and focused on his or her schoolwork. You can do this by:
- setting a deadline and the time your child should spend on a particular task
- stressing the importance of accountability
- specifying what exactly they need to accomplish
- positively reinforcing your child when reaching their goal(s)
When stripped of their social circles, some students may find learning from home isolating.
What You Can Do: Remote learning does not have to mean isolating children and keeping them from maintaining and making new connections. Here are some things you can do:
- Start or join a learning pod with like-minded families. Learning pods allow children to learn, socialize, and have fun without risking their health and safety.
- Ensure your child participates in online activities and discussions during remote group classes
- Schedule virtual playdates with friends to let your child socialize outside of class hours
- Make use of cloud tools and encourage your child to start fun projects and collaborate with friends.
Balancing Home, Work, and Teaching Responsibilities
Among all of the remote learning challenges we have seen, nothing seems to drive parents over the edge more than the struggle to find time for household chores, work-related tasks, and teaching their children.
Many families rely on schools to look after their children while they are at work. And while plenty of parents are working from home, this does not necessarily mean they can easily manage this transition and balance these new responsibilities.
What You Can Do: Balancing work, household chores, and teaching children is undoubtedly a herculean task. And although it is not entirely impossible, the process can be frustrating and overwhelming. It is essential to pace yourself and your children.
Here are some tips:
- Set a family schedule and specify tasks to be accomplished for the day. At the same time, remember to be more lenient and flexible with expectations.
- Make sure to include breaks not only for your children but also for yourself.
- Take advantage of group classes or pod activities. This provides you with a short break from teaching and parenting responsibilities and will help you focus on work, household tasks, and even self-care.
- Seek the help of a tutor or learning specialist for supplemental learning
The sudden move to online learning has also highlighted the digital divide among students. And the lack of access to computers and online resources is one of the most pressing remote learning challenges that school districts are still addressing.
But for families who do have the capability to participate in online classes, the problem does not stop just because they can provide their child with a laptop or a tablet.
For one, children may be adept at using technology, but most may not be familiar with how to use it responsibly. Second, a reliable internet connection may not always be available. And third, some students and parents may also need a bit of time to master unfamiliar tools or software.
What You Can Do: Your child’s school is aware that not every family will have the same access to learning tools and connectivity. If this is your primary concern, it is crucial to get in touch with your child’s teacher ahead of time so that you can work out possible accommodations. Other things you can do to avoid technical issues are:
- Make sure to familiarize yourself and your child with all the tools and software that he or she will need to use
- Talk to your child about the right use of technology and lay down rules when using the internet.
- Conduct practice classes with your child to test out your devices (including microphones and headphones), internet connection, and logins and passwords
- Advise your child’s school or teacher immediately if you encounter any unforeseen technical issues
How to Further Support Your Child
It is always crucial for parents to take a more active role in their children’s education. More so now that families are entering into uncharted territory next school year. And one way to ensure your children’s academic growth during these extraordinary times is by providing them with the best guidance and support.
Fortunately, Themba Tutors and Brooklyn Letters are prepared to offer you tutoring services for all your remote learning needs. We provide in-home and live online as well as one-on-one in-home and online tutoring sessions.
Themba Tutors is a New York-based private tutoring company that offers fun, individualized, and dynamic tutoring and coaching services for children and teens. We work one-on-one with students of all ages and provide multidisciplinary, personalized services.
Composed of traveling learning specialists, academic tutors, and executive functioning coaches, Themba Tutors provides in-home and online services in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island, Westchester County, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and sections of New Jersey.
Our services include:
- Math: Elementary, Middle, High School
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- College: Math, Science, Literature, Writing
- Executive Functioning: All Ages, including Study skills
- Test Prep: SAT, GRE, SHSAT, ISEE/SSAT
- Writing: Elementary, Middle, High School
Brooklyn Letters offers in-home and online literacy (Orton-Gillingham Approach) and math tutoring services and speech, language, and feeding therapies in the New York City metro area seven days a week.
Our private-pay online and doorstep speech-language feeding therapy, reading services (Orton Gillingham, Wilson, etc.), and math tutoring for all ages and skills are individualized and adapted based on your child’s and peers’ needs.
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Reach out to us today at:
(917) 382-8641 / (201) 831-9848
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