How to Get Teens Ready for Remote Learning

How to Get Teens Ready for Remote Learning

For most of us, last spring was . . . a sh*tshow. We were unexpectedly all at home. In-person schooling morphed into remote learning overnight. But since grades didn’t count for most kids, school sort of went out the window. Teens became vampires, sleeping much of the day and awake all night. Our houses looked lived in, to put it nicely.

For many, school is starting or just started. And it definitely doesn’t look normal. Some are attending hybrid, some are at home full time. But unlike last spring, these grades count. School is serious this semester and parents need to be as well. 

If last spring was about just surviving, this fall is about navigating our new normal. Thank goodness, there are ways you can help your teen prepare for and thrive in a remote learning environment.

How to Get Teens Ready for Remote Learning

remote learning


Create a school and work schedule that work for your kids and your family. Granted, the school controls much of the schedule during the day, but the school day eventually ends. Your schedule might include class times, important meetings that cannot be interrupted (especially for parents), lunch, snack breaks, homework time, relaxation time, etc. You don’t have to schedule every minute of the day, but do include downtime.

Post the schedule in a place that everyone can see. This is particularly helpful if there are multiple people working at home. Also, have a copy at each person’s workspace.


If your teen isn’t using a planner already, this is the year to start. They (most likely) have more time at home this year, which means they have more unstructured time. They will need to learn how to manage that time.

Find out about my fav planner here and how to use a planner here! And remember that you should model the behavior you want to see. Get your own planner and make sure your teens see you using it!

Workspace for Remote Learning

Each person needs a space to work. It might be around the kitchen table, in a bedroom, or the front porch. No matter where that workspace is, be sure there is a decent chair (your back will thank you!), a flat surface to work on, and good lighting. If others are in the same room, get some headphones!

That being said, no one should stay in the same spot all day long, especially kids. If you or your kiddo are ADHD, you must include movement and a variety of workspaces. Think of other places in or around your house to work. Grab some sidewalk chalk and take math or spelling outside. Do some Social Studies homework in the (dry) bathtub. I’m not kidding about this one! Or just take a walk at lunchtime.


It’s time to set explicit expectations with your teens. As in, what do you expect them to do?  What happens if they don’t meet those expectations? Are there possible rewards when expectations are met?

Consider discussing the following with your teens:

  • Sleep routines
  • Clothes – are kids expected to get dressed or are PJs all day ok?
  • Class attendance
  • Assignment completion
  • Chores
  • Socializing (ie – are they allowed to meet up with other friends or is your family still quarantining)
  • Screen time outside of school hours

It’s also time to set realistic expectations for everyone. There are no ideal solutions for this school year. In-person, hybrid, and remote are all bad options right now. None of them will be perfect. If you accept that now, you will save yourself some grief this fall.


This is new for all of us. Give everyone – your teen, yourself, teachers – some grace. We will all make mistakes. Let us learn from them and move on.

The more you can create a structure for your teen that supports them in their learning, the smoother this fall will be for them and the entire family!

How have you helped your teen prepare for remote learning? Let me know in the comments below!

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