Many parents have had to take creative measures to support their children’s learning during COVID-19. The situation can be comical, but it can also leave you wondering just how you should help your student. Even if your child isn’t coming to you with specific homework questions, there are many ways you can support your child’s learning while they are at home.
6 Tips to Help You Help Your Child’s Learning
1. Teach them skills for being engaged.
These days, sports and other extracurricular activities aren’t homework’s biggest enemies. It’s frustration, a lack of focus and sheer boredom. You can help your child make the most of their studies by providing planned breaks and activities as well as designated study times.
By teaching them how to use their time wisely by taking breaks and keeping their minds actively engaged in their work, they are learning skills that will aid them now and in their future careers.
2. Be aware and available.
If your usual 40-hour job has shifted to being remote, you’ve likely experienced some unprecedented struggles in your home. One of the biggest ways you can help your child is just by being aware of their progress.
If your child seems to be taking a very long time to finish schoolwork, they may be silently struggling. The underlying problem could be an unidentified learning disability or issues with executive function skills. Being aware and available will help you notice warning signs.
3. Offer another angle.
Sometimes a problem or situation just needs to be considered from another angle in order for it to make sense or to seem achievable. One example that comes to mind was shared with me by a friend who homeschools her children full time. She told me how her husband showed their kids some of his old assignments from elementary school and told them if he could do it, they could too. With this in mind, the kids were able to move past feelings of discouragement to get their work done!
4. Foster learning with an encouraging attitude.
An attitude of patience and confidence supports the learning process, especially in these strange times. “I can see how hard you’re working,” and “Try again, you almost have it,” will do more good than a negative response.
5. Add real world application.
The internet is overflowing with creative responses to COVID-19. Some of my favorite have come from the natural science museums. Places like, the Natural Science Museum of Los Angeles, have created daily episodes featuring fun and whacky science experiences. Parents don’t have to be creative to find great sources like these!
6. Recognize when professional support is needed.
If you suspect your student is falling behind, have a conversation with your child’s teacher. There are countless reasons a student may not be absorbing new material.
If you know your child is struggling and has been before distance learning began, you may want to consider a psychoeducational evaluation, also known as an educational assessment, to determine learning strength and weaknesses and the possibility of a learning disability. I am providing assessments during COVID-19 following social distancing recommendations.
Also, I’m providing support for students with IEPs. Lately, I had the opportunity to work with a parent and a teacher to design better learning strategies for a student with an IEP.
I would be happy to discuss this topic this you in more detail. Please feel free to contact me.