How Can You Help Your Teen with Remote Learning?
“This fall must go better than last spring.” “What can I do to help my teen through this?” “I can’t work full-time and stay on top of her school work.” “How can I best parent through remote learning?”
When my local school district announced that school would be remote this fall, I started getting calls and emails from parents. Loving, frustrated parents who needed help figuring out how to parent their teens who are learning remotely.
Over the last few months, I’ve worked with families to create systems that work for them. Systems that allow parents to do their paid jobs, for teens to learn, and the family to run as smoothly as possible.
With a few months under our collective belts, let’s talk about what you can do or change to parent remote learners that will work better for you, your teen, and your family.
Parenting During Remote Learning: How to Help Your Teen Thrive
Set Your Kid Up for Success
Create a Schedule
While the school provides much of the schedule during the days, work with your teen to come up with a loose schedule or routines for the afternoon and evening. A loose schedule or routine can provide structure to the day, help your teen manage all that free time, and take care of themselves.
Categories to consider:
- Physical activities, such as walking, running, or biking
- Homework and study time
- Family meals
- Free time
Build a Study Space
If you haven’ already, create a study space that works for your kid. Some people want to work in a quiet place by themselves. For them, a set up in a private room is best. Other kids need to be around other people. In that case, a space in a shared room is ideal.
If you live in a small space, think about buying privacy boards (science project boards from the dollar store work well) and headphones to minimize distractions.
Talk with your teen and find out if the current set-up is working. If not, what can be improved?
Have a set time at least once a week (or more often) to check grades and assignments with your kiddo. Often just knowing that you will check in regularly gets assignments completed.
Make them sit down with you and the online grade book. Maybe have a nice snack and a cup of tea during this – depending on your kiddo, this can escalate quickly. If this becomes way too emotional, sub that job out to someone else. A tech-savvy grandparent or neighbor can help. And I can help, too!
But it shouldn’t just be about grades. Ask about what is going well and what is challenging your teen. Sometimes, just having someone listen (really listen) will help.
Communicate with teachers
This is the time to send some friendly emails to your child’s teachers. If you haven’t already, introduce yourself and share any information you think would be helpful for teachers to know.
Ask for Help
You can’t do it all. Seriously. Trying to parent remote learning is no joke. Sometimes, you need to call in help. Grandparents, neighbors, coaches, and family friends can help out. If you can afford it, hire a tutor (like me!) to work with your teens. I can handle the conversations about assignments and grades that can lead to shouting in your household. But without the yelling.
I know you know that is super hard for everyone – kids, teachers, and parents. Before yelling at your kid or sending that aggressive email, please take a deep breath. And then a few more.
We are all doing the best we can right now. Including you.