When the health crisis first hit and schools started to close their doors, a lot of questions were asked. Parents and teachers were caught off-guard and had numerous concerns about the only available option: online distance learning.
But now that everyone is past the first full academic year, some of those concerns have trickled down from conscious thought—this does not mean, however, that some questions no longer need to be asked.
Here are some questions that every parent should be asking themselves about online distance learning.
1. Is our home prepared?
There are some things that online distance learning requires, and this often includes a stable internet connection and a dedicated device for your child. But before the next school year begins, ask yourself whether or not the tools already available are enough.
Sit down with your children and ask them what they struggled with in the current school year. Was their connection reliable, or would it fall through in the middle of a classroom discussion? Is the device they are using enough or do their projects require more advanced features?
2. What are my other options?
The default solution with online learning has been to stick with the schools that children were attending pre-pandemic. But with each school approaching remote learning differently, it might pay off to consider other options that might be more effective for your child.
Do not be afraid to dig in a little deeper and have discussions with the school faculty on how they will grade their students, how they plan to approach their lessons, and what platforms they will be using to facilitate their classes. Do the research and have your children join the conversation, too.
3. Is my child keeping up with the school's new online setup?
Naturally, the number one priority in remote learning is your children. Sit down with them to discuss how they feel about the whole setup. Do they think they are learning and are they able to keep up? Are they getting enough help from their teachers? Are they able to voice their concerns and are their questions properly addressed in and outside of class?
Take all of the answers to heart and make adjustments wherever you think you can. The educational situation might have changed, but learning should not be sacrificed—especially if the difference between effective studies and a lackluster experience might just be a matter of adjusting your child's schedule to when they feel most able to focus.
4. Am I giving my child enough resources?
Teachers are doing their best to provide your children with what they need to properly learn and understand their lessons, but giving your children access to supplementary learning avenues will help them in the long run.
Supplementary learning is available in multiple forms: through educational videos, self-learning, and other educational systems outside of formal school. Look into what is available and what will work best for your child. After all, these supplementary programs will also aid your child in learning and getting the most out of online distance learning.
Despite the trying times, everyone has learned to adapt in however way they can—and students have graduated from their first full year of remote learning. But with face-to-face school still in question, you can never be too prepared to provide your child with the best learning setup possible.
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