Remote learning tips for parents and remote learning resources for students for virtual learning online. We have distance learning tips for working parents and homeschooling parents to help kids become successful with e-learning and online homeschool programs.
BEST REMOTE LEARNING TIPS FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS
So, you find yourself remote learning and doing schoolwork at home with your child and you need resources for parents during distance learning.
Maybe you’re new at homeschooling and looking at remote learning plans or just switching to an online homeschool program.
Or, maybe you’re remote learning and leading your child in emergency homeschooling or even hybrid school.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I get it.
School at home is something that many of us who homeschool prepared for and most of us weren’t thrown into it due to an emergency … and it was still super hard!
So, if you’re feeling like all of this sucks, THAT’S OK. We have a remote learning guide for parents that will help.
How can parents help remote learning?
Virtual learning tips for parents:
- Make sure you have updated technology (computers, laptops, and software)
- Create a central learning station, complete with chargers, cords, and login information
- Review the student’s schedule and course materials
- Help kids create a schedule and reminders
- Remove distractions during the course
- Regularly check in with your child to help them stay on track
- Ask the school for the guidelines for parents for online classes
- Don’t be afraid to contact the school, online program, or teacher with questions
We’re going to walk you through school from home and helping your kids with online classes, video conferencing, or remote learning… even for a temporary homeschooling period.
Before we get to the school work at home tips, let’s cover some common school work at home questions:
A GUIDE TO REMOTE LEARNING
First, you may be looking for a remote learning definition…
What is remote learning?
What does remote learning mean? Remote learning is when kids complete school work at home. It can be done as a solely online school program through your school, as part of hybrid learning where your kid goes to a school part of the time and learns online part of the time, or it can be a remote learning homeschool program completely independent of a local school.
Remote learning is also sometimes called: virtual learning, eLearning, distance learning, and online learning.
How does remote learning work?
Remote learning works by a student taking classes or completing coursework in a different location than their instructor or school, usually through a remote learning portal by logging on to a learning program. Remote learning can be done in a live (online) class with an instructor at a specific time (called synchronous learning) or it can be done on the student’s own schedule (called asynchronous learning).
The remote learning technology used will depend on the school or course your child is taking.
Read this next on homeschool vs online school:
How can I focus on school at home?
To focus on school at home, you need to get organized by gathering all your supplies in one area. Also, be sure to remove all the distractions like phones, television, social media and more during remote learning times.
How can I make school work faster?
School work goes a lot faster when you are doing it from home because you don’t have to deal with an entire class of other students. Once you organize homework by scheduling online courses, creating a homework schedule, and keeping all your supplies handy, school work will go faster.
Before we get to tips on making distance learning successful, it’s important to understand some of the distance learning challenges so you can be ready if they occur.
Problems with Remote Learning
While remote learning can be convenient, there are some remote learning cons.
Issues students may face during remote learning:
- Technology and connection issues
- Distractions at home
- Lack of engagement
- Feeling disconnected from peers
How can I motivate myself to do school work?
One of the biggest things about doing school work from home is the motivation. Because you are in charge of the study schedule, it’s easy to put things off or get distracted.
To get motivated to do school work:
- Create daily goals that must be met.
- Set small rewards for when those goals are met.
- Schedule small study blocks. (For example, work for 15-30 minutes and then break.)
- Allow breaks between study blocks.
- Change up your view (and move around the house if feeling stuck!).
- Set a cut-off time when homework must be completed each day.
- Create visible calendars or lists and cross off items that are completed.
- Work with study buddies to keep each other accountable.
How To Make a Homework Schedule
Remote Learning Tips for Parents & Students
Homework tips for students stuck at home:
- Gather all your study materials in one central area.
- Gather supplies (pens, pencils, laptop, etc.) so you don’t use getting up to find things as an excuse.
- Compile or make a list of all of the assignments for the week or the remote learning plan to give yourself an overview.
- Print off a blank calendar or a daily schedule. (We actually like this calendar to keep multiple kids or students organized.)
- Spend time documenting (on the calendar or schedule) assignments and when they are due.
- Remove distractions (turn off phones, TVs, social media, etc.).
- Set a regular study time OR if allow yourself a flexible schedule if you work better that way.
- Regularly take breaks. Get some fresh air if you can!
On to the full remote learning tips!
Here’s how you can complete schoolwork from home without losing your mind — no matter if you’re schooling prekindergarten through 12th grade! Just adapt these remote learning in education tips for your learning level and school needs.
REMOTE LEARNING RESOURCES
10 Tips To Help You Be Successful At School Work At Home
Remote Learning Tip #1: Breathe.
I always hate lists that start with something like BREATHE! don’t you?
I know. I know.
But, in this case, I really do mean it.
Take a beat and allow everyone to just breathe.
Switching up to this way of learning is a shock to the system and schedules (to say the least), so everyone is going to be in a high-stress state. BE AWARE OF THIS.
If you can, give a day or two of just downtime to adjust to what is happening.
Go lighter on the school work during the first day … or week. Let the schedules be more relaxed. Allow them to do school in pajamas (or however they’re comfortable).
Include other things to learn like:
- Play board games or video games.
- Cook together.
- Read aloud as a family.
- Listen to podcasts or audiobooks.
- Play outside or take a walk or nature hike or do an outside (learning) scavenger hunt (print a free scavenger hunt here).
These are all ways that kids learn without even realize they’re learning!
I know, this seems very counterintuitive to learning because we’ve all been conditioned for a long time to think kids learn only in one way (like sitting at a desk in front of a computer). But, you’ll just need to trust me on this. Be open to other ways of learning and a more relaxed school schedule.
Remote Learning Tip #2: Don’t try to recreate school at home.
Listen up because this realization may surprise you:
Your child is not going to need eight hours to school at home.
In fact, if you’re new to a home schooling method, you may be surprised to learn how fast school work will go when you’re completing the work at home with one (or just a few kids).
A teacher in a classroom has 20-30 students that he or she is juggling. That creates many distractions and diversions that take a lot longer to get things done.
It will not be this way with schoolwork at home.
You could feasibly finish up the work for the day in a couple of hours!
So, don’t try to stick to the same hours that your kid attends traditional school. Create a schedule that works best for your family. If that means you school mainly in the afternoon or early evening because you need to work during the day, THAT IS OK.
Remote Learning Tip #3: Look for guidance from your school or online program, but don’t be afraid to ask for changes.
Some schools have detailed plans to teach online and for requiring students to work with an online learning program.
But, other schools or online programs may not.
If you are one of the parents struggling with distance learning, try to understand how your school or program develops plans for distance learning and ask to see the full remote learning lesson plans for the semester (or next few weeks, or whatever works for you).
- Will it be video conferencing? Or, will your kids be using remote learning Google classroom (or something else)? (Or what other remote learning tools will be used?)
- What remote learning devices are needed?
- Will your kids need to log on at certain times or are they completing work on their own timeframe?
- Will they have to access an elearning portal for classes?
- Are remote learning packets available if internet or computer access is a problem?
- How will you get messages from teachers and how will your kids submit questions?
- How will they submit assignments (or will they be asked to hold their work until they are back in school)?
Students might just be encouraged to read books or work on homework that is assigned.
But, be prepared!
They also might pile on extra work out of fear that students won’t learn as well at home! (Which, by the way, may be false.)
If this happens and it seems overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask what a reasonable level of completion is for each student.
Want to create your own remote learning schedule template? You can use our free printable schedule.
Remote Learning Tip #4: Set up a central school work area.
You have to get (semi) organized to make this run smoothly, so it’s time to convert your dining room, playroom or kitchen table into a learning area!
You don’t necessarily need an entire homeschool classroom, but it will help save time and sanity if you have a centralized learning area for your at-home learning (a school work area at home!), even if it’s just where you keep all the books and supplies.
Keeping school supplies (pens, pencils, laptops, etc.), books, and homework assignments in one place will save so much time with the, “I don’t know where my pencil is!” or “Moooooom! Where’s my math homework????”
(And, as you probably already know, those are the things that grate on your last nerve.)
Also, make a rule where you have to keep all the laptop cords and phone charges plugged in by the supply or homework area! This is a huge time saver!
It also helps if you have all the remote learning login information readily available in your school work area at all times.
Grab a calendar calendar that you use for normal family stuff and convert it to the school work calendar.
Hang it in your new school work area so it is visible for everyone to help keep everyone on the same page.
Make it a rule that when they can do schoolwork anywhere in the house (even outside!), but their supplies and books should start out in the designated area each day and end up there at the end of the learning session.
This will also allow you to easily glance through their work each day to ensure they’re staying on track.
HELPFUL RESOURCE: Laptop vs Desktop: Which Is Best for Home School and Remote Learning?
Remote Learning Tip #5: Create a relaxed school schedule.
Unless your kids need to be up and ready to log onto an online class or are video conferencing at a specific time, it’s OK to let your kids (and you!) sleep in a little if they want and have a more relaxed learning schedule.
(It really helps in stressful situations. Trust me.)
Also, they really can learn in pajamas, so allow them to have comfortable pajama learning days if they want!
Remember, you’re not trying to recreate exactly what a school day looks like. You’re just trying to make sure you get the assigned work done.
If it’s easier to start at noon and finish at 2:00 p.m., then do that. If you have early birds who like to get started by 8:00 a.m. and are finished by 11:00 a.m., that’s OK, too!
Your kids aren’t going to develop “bad habits” in just a few days or a couple of weeks of sleeping in and doing school work in the afternoon. In fact, they may be more productive because they are working with their natural time clocks!
If it’s a special circumstance (like temporarily homeschooling), don’t be afraid to allow for special considerations in getting the work done. It will make all of your lives easier during this time.
Remote Learning Tip #6: Stagger the learning for different ages.
OK, this one is a biggie and I’m just going to give it to you straight:
Schooling multiple kids of different ages and stages is HARD. (It can feel next to impossible, but it’s not!)
It’s something that many homeschool parents (even those who have been homeschooling multiple kids for years) struggle with regularly.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to you for homeschooling different ages and stages is to stagger the schedule.
This means while you are getting the little ones breakfast in the morning, have the older kids get started on independent study.
Spend some time reading and playing with the littles after breakfast. If the older kids need help on a topic, ask them to put that aside until after lunch.
Then, while the younger kids are napping or having quiet play time, help the older kids with any issues or questions.
You can also enlist the older kids to help with the studies for the younger ones. (And, reward the older ones with extra video game time or whatever for their help!)
DON’T FORGET: The goal is to get the work done without everyone losing their minds. It’s not going to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be!
Remote Learning Tip #7: Realize that kids learn many different ways.
Just because classes have moved online from your home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t implement some other (fun) ways of learning.
Not all kids are going to love e-learning online or video conferences or just straight worksheet homework, so try to mix it up for them!
This is where you need to think outside of the box in order to save your sanity (and keep your kids from killing each other).
- Cover PE class by playing outside, climbing on equipment at the part, and doing things like kicking the soccer ball around. Stuck inside? Let them build an indoor obstacle course for some extra exercise. (And, be patient when things are a mess. It’s OK!)
- Assign self-paced learning games for homework. (Try: PBS and NatGeo for Kids on topics they’re studying online.)
- Use documentaries for history and social studies. (Try: PBS, History Channel, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. We REALLY loved The Food That Built America on the History Channel. It’s super interesting and covered a ton of history!)
- Use family podcasts to teach a variety of topics. (Try: Wow In The World.) Use audiobooks as well.
- Try painting and arts and crafts! Not only are they relaxing, but they hone skills used for a variety of learning. (I like to keep all-in-one art/craft sets like this on hand.)
- Play board games to practice a variety of skills (math, reading, critical thinking, team building, patience, sharing, and more!).
- Bake or make some fun recipes (and cover subjects like math, reading, and nutrition and skills like critical thinking).
Remote Learning Tip #8: Allow for lots of free time and unstructured play.
Spend the time at home studying and playing. It doesn’t have to be all school work all the time.
Allow for lots of free play and alone time, too. (Do you know the important relationship between unstructured play and a child being successful in life?)
In fact, I would have an “everyone to their own room for quiet time” part of the day. You can even adapt it to a specific corner, cushion or chair. They just need to be doing a quiet task (or, with headphones). And, yes! Napping counts if that’s what they want to do!
It allows everyone to decompress, gives you (and them!) a break, and even may reset some crabby moods.
(I use this in our own homeschooling ALL THE TIME.)
Not only that, allowing your kids to get bored is actually a good thing. (For real. Read about the benefits of boredom.)
Remote Learning Tip #9: Remember: Your kids are stressed, too.
Your kids may be in an extremely stressed state (and you might not even know it). Be prepared for questions and tears and maybe even acting out.
Create a calm environment where your kids feel safe (even if you’re panicking inside!).
Turn off the news or streaming social media that is constantly talking about what’s going on in the world.
Put on soft, relaxing music in the background.
Cook some favorite comfort foods.
Use fun distractions like busy bags (make them with things you already have around your house!). (Learn about busy bags here.)
Let them Facetime, Zoom, or message their friends or have a virtual playdate.
Allow them to zone out with video games.
Have a buddy study day where you allow each kid to invite a friend over from their class or Zoom together to complete assignments (and then let them have lots of free time after!).
Scream into your pillow.
(I kid. I kid.)
Remote Learning Tip #10: Let it go.
Remember that this is a NEW (and, for some, temporary) situation for your school or online homeschool program and the students.
There are going to be some hiccups and teachers will be forced to be more understanding than usual.
There are going to be plenty of times when you can’t get your kids logged into remote class or internet is down or glitches occur and tensions will be high.
Guess what? NO ONE WILL LEARN LIKE THIS.
If some of the work feels too overwhelming, or the glitches were too much for everyone that day, or your kids seem to not be adjusting well, allow them to skip it for the time being. You can discuss it with the teacher later and make up any assignments that are absolutely required.
Remember, if students are forced to work at home, many schools will add a lot of extra work because they think this is what students need when they are home so they don’t “fall behind” (which is a whole different discussion and I’ll just say: you probably don’t need to worry about your kids falling behind).
Completing all of the work may be negotiable, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the teacher for some input.
If it all feels too overwhelming for you on a certain day, make it a low-key free learning day with documentaries or crafts or whatever your kids choose to do for that day. (A few mental health breaks here and there are imperative and WILL NOT put your children behind! I PROMISE.)