Online Learning: Teachers Share 5 Best Practices For The Overwhelmed Parent
Mom and dad, you are not alone in this new reality.
With the pandemic came the sudden shift from traditional schooling to online learning. To minimize physical contact and, thus, the further spread of SARS-CoV-2, educational institutions had to close temporarily and employ the use of online methods like Zoom, Google Meet, and modular learning to deliver school lessons to students. During this transition, it was not only the teachers or the students who had to adapt -- the parents had to make major adjustments as well.
From balancing household and work responsibilities to teaching duties, there is certainly a lot for you to handle if you are a working parent whose young child is enrolled in school through online learning. It is a difficult task, and you most likely feel lost sometimes.
To help you cope with this unfamiliar learning environment, teachers share these best practices to follow with online learning.
Tip # 1: Find a good place to learn.
School classrooms are designed to foster a conducive learning environment: the space is comfortable, and the exchange of ideas is encouraged. “The home now has become the venue for students to study. Finding a good and quiet place at home is important because it will help the students focus on their work, says Ralvic Baunillo, a senior high school Instructor.
“One thing we can do is to dedicate a space exclusively for learning [at home]. It doesn’t have to be an entire room, just a chair and a table in a corner can be a perfect learning space at home,” he adds. He recommends making sure that your child’s study area at home is free from loud noise and distractions.
Tip # 2: Be familiar with the online learning platforms.
Laila Mendoza, a senior high school instructor, suggests that parents be more comfortable with the use of technology.
“Familiarizing yourself with online learning platforms can help you guide your child more easily as he learns. Start with the basic and most common, such as video chat on Facebook Messenger since it is quite similar to these learning platforms. You could also watch related videos that teach you how to navigate these platforms.”
Reaching out to your child’s teacher regularly will certainly lessen your at-home teaching worries. “Parents and guardians should stay in communication or dialogue with the learner’s teachers to make sure that students stay on pace and get the appropriate help when it’s needed”, says Principal Manny Valerio, who has been teaching for 15 years now.
No one expects parents to know everything about being a teacher all at once. If you have concerns, it is better to ask for help and keep the teacher updated with your child’s progress.
Tip # 3: Use video lessons and incorporate activities.
Samantha Sebastian, a mom and an elementary teacher, advises, “Find time to help your children with their school lessons. Children nowadays really need help but [are] shy to ask for it. If you are not familiar with the lesson, there are videos [found online] that could be a great help. Watching video lessons will give you more insight and information about the topic which you might need to review in case you have already forgotten.
“You may also incorporate real-life activities or situations so your child could easily learn and understand a specific lesson. There are a lot of easy DIY activities online that you can follow to make learning at home more engaging and exciting for your kids.”
Tip # 4: Learn to control your emotions.
There are important skills and strategies you can incorporate to effectively help your children with learning at home. “Parents should give positive feedback to their children to boost their self-confidence. Having tons of patience, and [learning to] control [their] emotions are important as well”, says Lailani Baguisa, a mom of three and a high school teacher for 17 years.
Building a positive atmosphere at home would be a great help too! “We need to model a calm and positive behavior. It is also important to acknowledge them if they are doing well especially [since] this setup is new to them”, she added.
Tip # 5: Give your kids “brain breaks.”
Online learning may sometimes make students feel isolated. “Parents should always [show] empathy to their child whenever they are struggling [with school lessons] so their child knows they are not alone,” says Kristine Karyl Dalumpines, a senior high school teacher.
Cheryl Ruiz, a college instructor, shares, “A brain break is a way for students to de-stress and relax. Give them at least 15 minutes of break after two subjects so they could rest and revitalize their brain. A light snack or simply asking how their day is going will lessen the pressure they are feeling.”
Whenever you feel overwhelmed with the new responsibilities that come with online learning, know that you can make this through! You might not be an experienced educator, but through your perseverance and full love and support for your child, this school year can still be a successful one, even if it is virtual.