How to Support Your Child’s Learning During Quarantine

Jul 28, 2020 by

The world was turned upside down when the Coronavirus pandemic struck the country. Businesses closed, people lost their jobs, and millions of children lost their main source of stability, safety, and routine — school. Quality education is one of the most valuable resources for children. Education feeds their mental, emotional, and physical needs. While countless schools switched to virtual learning in an attempt to finish out the school year, this was less than an ideal answer for many children and parents. Students with learning disabilities, IEPs, and even those who simply thrive on in-person instruction fell behind. 

As a parent, one of the hardest things to cope with is seeing your child struggle. The good news is, there are several ways you can help support your child’s learning during quarantine. Take a deep breath and keep reading to learn the best ways to help your child succeed in the face of a global pandemic.

Patience is a Virtue

This is a life lesson we try to instill in our children but if the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that parents need patience — and plenty of it. Most parents aren’t educators. They’re not psychologists, social workers, or referees, which seem to be just a few of the requirements of being an educator in today’s world. 

A unique dynamic exists between parents and their children when it comes to teaching and learning. Virtual learning is like the great homework battle amplified. Children get frustrated, parents react, then the child’s self-confidence dwindles, and parents throw their hands up in defeat. Although this is a common scenario, it’s not helpful for anyone.

Remaining patient is one way to help support your child’s success and the learning process. The last thing you want is for your child to have a negative view of both schoolwork and themselves. If they start getting frustrated or overwhelmed, take a break. When you try again, take a different approach. In addition to patience, try to remain positive and encouraging. Your child’s self-esteem is more important than any lesson or assignment. If you’re unable to give your child the help or support they need, investing in a reading or math tutor may be beneficial. 

Use Online Resources and Workbooks

Outside of virtual learning, you can offer your child other resources to support their learning. There are countless online websites available that help reinforce lessons and concepts based on your child’s current grade level. Bridge books are a popular choice because they help “bridge” the gap from one grade to the next. Sadly, many students lose basic concepts over the summer months that help them succeed and retain what they’ve learned. 

Choose lessons based on both your child’s strengths and areas that need review and improvement. By catering to both of these needs, you ensure that your child continues to excel in whatever subject they’ve mastered but also receives the extra help in their problem areas. But remember, the Coronavirus has taken an emotional, mental, and physical toll on kids. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for them is to just let them be kids!

Monitor Internet Use

The Internet is an awesome resource for information, games, activities, and other learning tools. But it can also be a dangerous place. Avoid letting your child surf the internet without any adult supervision. They could accidentally stumble upon a website or chat group that is inappropriate or far beyond their age-level. 

Many parents fall into the trap of letting their children engage in chat rooms because this is their only form of social interaction due to quarantine. Chat groups are fine and are a great way for kids to interact with other children their age. But that’s the key — to ensure that the people they’re chatting with are actually other kids their age and not predators. There’s really no guarantees, as countless predators disguise themselves as young children specifically to attract unsuspecting victims. Talk to your kids about internet safety. Remind them never to share their personal information like their name (first or last), address, phone number, age, or the name of their school. You’d be surprised at what little information a predator can use to locate an innocent child. Internet use is fine, but just be sure it’s closely monitored. 

Make a Game of It

How many times has your child told you that schoolwork and learning are boring? In their defense, it can be! But, it doesn’t have to be. When the virtual school year came to a close, your child probably slammed their computer shut and swore they were done learning “forever”! While children do need a mental break for the summer, they also need reinforcement. The best way to achieve this is by making learning fun. Create educational games that help reinforce math and reading concepts without them realizing it.

A scavenger hunt is a great way to have your child practice reading and problem-solving. Create clues that lead from one place in your house to another. The kids have to read each clue and think about where to find the next one. MadLibs are always a fun and creative way to practice learning as well as parts of speech. Let your kids get silly with them and have a good laugh. Board games are another interactive way to promote problem-solving and reading. Card or domino games incorporate math into the mix. Physical games like hop-scotch, basketball, or even football promote physical activity and math! 

Connect with the Local Education System

One of your greatest resources as a parent is the local education system. During the recent pandemic, thousands of schools were forced to abruptly switch to a virtual learning approach. Teachers, administrators, and educators were equally as unprepared as parents and students. Many districts did the best they could to provide a consistent, quality education for students along with support for both the children and parents. 

Whenever possible, reach out to your child’s teacher, counselor, or school principal for help, advice, and resources. This may be tough during the summer months when some educators take a break and “unplug”, but many continue to answer e-mails and field questions. See what resources your child’s school or district has online. Many schools can recommend education websites, apps, and other resources for helping your child continue their learning over the course of the summer or even in addition to the virtual curriculum. 

We’re All In This Together

The most important thing to remember is that we’re all in this together! The Coronavirus was an unexpected event that took life as we know it and transformed into something completely foreign to us all. And one of the biggest, most innocent victims is the children. They were thrust into a world of uncertainty, instability, and lack of routine. Try to be patient. Remember that their frustration could be fear — fear of the unknown, sadness over missing their friends, lack of social interaction, and the effects of isolation. At the end of the day, your child’s mental health os of upmost importance. By focusing on that, you can also help them succeed on their learning path.

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