Updated: Oct 26, 2021
These times are definitely challenging especially for parents because it's the first time we have had to depend on our own selves to level up our teaching and support to our children who are learning from home whilst schools are remain closed.
Parents, this is not something to continually feel helpless in and not to do anything about. The reality is there are so many parents out there especially those from culturally diverse backgrounds who are still needing to support their children with learning topics and assessments; whilst having no clue how to explain what is required for them to do.
So I am going to share some strategies to help you get through this tough time to help encourage you and motivate you to help your child with their remote learning.
First and foremost, I want you to understand that you aren't meant to know it all and know how to figure it all out. Don't doubt yourself because you don't know English fundamentals or math equations. Remove this thinking from your mindset and start afresh with what I am about to share. Consider taking some or all of these strategies on board to help you move the needle with your child's learning on a daily basis.
Let's dive right in.
Your child's learning, scheduling and routine is super critical to establish in order to bring some level of structure into your child's day. Now for us parents who have older children and require them to help around the house and help out with looking after the younger kids, they too need to have allocated time to do their school work and homework. How can we go about this? Firstly, as a parent, you need to know their remote learning schedule. What subjects they may have for the week and the time that these occur. You don't need to know the details but at least know what the topics or subject they are and when they are on. I know that we may sometimes leave this responsibility with our child to know but honestly, it is difficult and also a bit risky in leaving them to be on top of their own schedule and learning journey.
This actually leaves room for uncertainty. Can we be 100% sure that our children are doing exactly what is asked of them and to know exactly when and where things occur. Age is just a number after all and teaching them time management are life long skills that even adults are still learning. Having said that, children still need guidance regardless of what age they are.
Teachers in the schools will do their best to help their students, and our own children will do what they can which is dependent on their mood, their day and their attention span levels. So we must consider all these factors when it comes to achieving results and who is helping them achieve this. If we remove ourselves in providing any support or guidance from this structure, it means that we are leaving it up to chance for our child to know and figure it all out. A huge responsibility in itself.
What we can do is ensure we are involved to an extent and by which I mean helping out with establishing routine into your child's day. It won't be easy to begin with but building structure is super critical to get your child into the right frame of mind. IT also build discipline which is a life skill. Perhaps to kick things off, have a conversation with your child and let them know that because we don't know when schools will open we must do what we can to support. Know their learning struggle points and identify what areas they need help with. Your child might say I have no idea what the teacher is asking me to do. If you can't understand what is needed, you can always ask the teacher yourself and seek guidance. Check weekly parent emails and be in the know what is required. If it's hard for you comprehend, ask someone, a friend to help you decipher what is being asked.
Furthermore, if you aren't able to provide the answers required to understand what is being asked, consider seeking help outside of schools such as a private tutor or group mentoring program to assist with the learning. It's all about finding the right one and there are so many online tutors out there that can take the time and break down the questions being asked. https://www.tutorfinder.com.au/ has some great private tutors for all subjects and for ages at reasonable prices and the best part is with tutoring, sometimes children only need 1-3 lessons to get the hang of things. You can assess how much your child needs and go from there. When I first started my tutoring business, I was even listed on this website and helped all different children around my community predominately those from Indian and Asian backgrounds. I now tutor Pacifika students with 100% of my students from this cultural background. It's been a journey and half I tell ya.
Building routine and having a space where your child can learn is also critical for success. If you only have a limited amount of quiet space, try adding a desk to your bedroom for them to study in and be there to support them. Sometimes children check out of school learning because they feel so overwhelmed and don't know who or where to go to help except for the one person asking them to do the learning which is the teacher. If you as a parent get involved and get in control it will give your child the reassurance that there is help outside of the classroom. That's where learning confidence honestly grows and as well motivation to want to achieve excellence.
Other ways to get help for your child's learning is to reach out to your cultural community and ask around who can help your child with the area they need. They may need a mentor or someone with the appropriate skills to help them get there. Whatever it is, us as parents have a responsibility in playing a role in our child's learning. There might be situations where you feel helpless but I guarantee all you have to do is communicate what you are struggling with and help might just be around the corner. Community is important for a reason because we can always draw on resources, tools and seek help with those who are close by and who we ultimately feel safe and comfortable with.
There are other ways parents are working towards helping their child and I believe that in your heart of hearts you will know what move to make. Myself personally, I have taken a step back from my career and went from full time to working only 3 days a week. I asked my organisation to do this and it meant less money of course whilst sacrificing a lot in the process. But what it meant for myself personally was that I would be more available to help my son with his learning and development. Taking a step back in your career and a pay cut was really hard to do but after the first two weeks of working part time, I honestly saw so much change in my household. Even with house hold chores and my time with my son became more intentional and as a result saw great improvement in his day and his learning overall. These little sacrifices seem hard to do but it was a decision I made with my husband because it felt like the most logical thing that needed to have taken place probably 8 months ago.
Nonetheless, it's never too late to create change in your household and with your child's learning, I encourage you to spend some time to consider some adjustments and some improvements to enable your child to do better.
Finally, I will leave you with this comment. Quality learning far outweighs quantity. Just because your child isn't learning 6 hours a day or what it may seem like at schools, doesn't mean you need to replicate this at home. If you can do one thing a day or more, learn to accept this as a win. Even teaching your child character building, how to run a home, how to listen and teaching gratitude are fundamentals that we as parents are responsible for teaching.
There is a plethora of things you are already doing and I hope this post encourages you to know that you are doing enough and there are simple ways to improve current processes.
Happy remote learning.