Tips for families adjusting to remote learning

MEDFORD, Ore. — Distance learning is a reality for school districts across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s an adjustment that’s difficult for kids, but also for parents.

Rogue Valley substitute teacher India Bolding says a big challenge will be distractions at home.

“They’re going to want to stay in their pajamas and watch more tv and maybe jump around on the sofa and in the home environment where there’s different sounds, different smells, maybe people walking around. It’s going to be much harder for them to remember how to do that and trick their brain into thinking they’re back at school,” said Bolding.

Bolding says it will be helpful to set up a ‘home office’ or a spot kids can focus on work, not play.

“Somewhere that is easily supervised but not a thoroughfare, so whether it’s a desk in the bedroom, in the parents home office, or just a spot at the kitchen table, but somewhere consistent where the kids can always go back to that becomes their little school zone,” she said.

Children’s Advocacy Center’s Tammi Pitzen says routine shapes behavior as well.

She says it’s the closest thing parents can provide to a normal school experience.

“Even as adults working remotely, if you’re able to do that, it’s helpful if you get up, get dressed, prepare for your days as you would any other day. You’re going to be more productive, you’re going to be more focused,” Pitzen said.

As a parent herself, Pitzen says she understands many families will be overwhelmed whether due to increased financial stress or a lack of personal space.

“I think it’s going to be important to carve out a little time for yourself. It’s harder and harder to find that but we’re going to need to recharge as parents, so that we can be there for our kids to help them and help them trouble shoot things that they have without stress bleeding over into frustration,” she said.

As we set out into this unfamiliar territory, both say open communication is key.

Not just with your kids, but with teachers and school districts.

“Recognize that you aren’t going to do things perfectly and that’s going to be okay. Put your best effort forward, do what you can, and ask for help,” said Pitzen.

“If you have any questions reach out to your teacher because your teacher is there to support you. They only want the best for their students and your children,” said Bolding.

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