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Easy Steps Parents Can Implement to Support Student Distance Learning

The abrupt transition from in-school classes to online learning from home has been difficult for millions of students around the world. With school closures due to COVID-19, parents are tasked with being the driving force behind student education. Teachers are relying on parents to support students during distance learning, but it is not an easy task.

Just as millions of students are frustrated by online schooling, millions of parents are overwhelmed by the task of encouraging their children and guiding them through the remainder of the school year. However, as parents find ways to support at-home learning by implementing the following techniques, they will be able to create an enriching learning environment from home and promote the academic success of their children.

Create a Study Space

Schools are designed to promote learning and help children focus. Every resource, picture, display, and color used in a classroom is designed to help students perform academically and stay on track. Distractions such as cell phones and video games are prohibited. This is not the case at home.

At home, students are faced with innumerable distractions; noisy siblings, the temptation of video games or cell phones, televisions, easy access to snacks, or the responsibility of household chores. Amid so many possible distractions, one of the most important steps parents can take to help their children learn is to create a space where their children can study, free from distractions.

Parents should have a designated space for their children to complete schoolwork. This can be at a table, kitchen counter, desk, etc. Students should not be allowed to access their phones, online games, or other electronic distractions while they are completing schoolwork (Fabiano). A student’s study space should be relatively quiet and comfortable and away from televisions (Fabiano). When parents create a secure, designated space where students can study, attend conferences, or complete homework, students will start to create better habits and develop a healthy educational routine.

Create a Schedule

Children learn best when they have a schedule or repeated routine. Students who do not have a structured learning schedule will be easily distracted, fail to complete assignments, and will not adapt well to online learning. When students have an easy-to-follow, recognizable schedule that remains relatively constant, they will have a better sense of security and normality and be better equipped to complete tasks, which will lead to academic growth.

Parents should create a practical schedule for their children. In their schedule, they can include the following information:

  • What time to wake up in the morning
  • What time to shower, get dressed, etc.
  • What time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Designated hours for studying and completing schoolwork
  • Designated time for recess, breaks, and time spent outside
  • Designated time complete specific household chores
  • What time to go to bed
While maintaining a schedule is important, parents should not become discouraged if their children have a hard time initially adhering to a routine. Parents should be flexible, but encourage their children to adhere to an easy routine to promote productivity and increase the sense of normality at home (Smith).

Take Breaks

Children are notorious for their short attention spans. Students enjoy recess and breaks periodically throughout the day at school. In the same way, parents should allow children several opportunities to take a break from school assignments at home. Recess and breaks should not exceed 30 minutes and can be used after completion of a subject or 1-2 hours of schoolwork. Here are several ideas for short recess breaks away from screens at home (Children):
  • Prepare and eat a healthy snack.
  • Exercise.
  • Spend time outside.
  • Complete chores.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Call a friend.
  • Play a board game.
  • Read a book.
  • Play with toys.
  • Be Patient
The transition from in-school to at-home learning has not been easy for teachers, parents, and students. In response to the added stress and unfamiliarity of online schooling, children may be more prone to impractical outbursts, tears, or frustration. Parents, too, are experiencing overwhelming frustration as they attempt to encourage their children and help them learn.

Students will not be able to learn in an environment that is full of anger, frustration, or anxiety. Despite outbursts, meltdowns, and tantrums, parents should practice patience when helping their children. As parents use calm voices, try proven soothing techniques, and practice effective communication with their children, they will help educate their children and will see greater academic success and organization in their children’s lives.

As parents create a conducive learning environment for their students, create and implement an organized routine, allow their children to take quick and periodic breaks from schoolwork, and practice patience with their students and themselves, they will experience greater joy in helping their children learn. Children and teachers both will immensely benefit from the proven sacrifice and effort of parents that are helping their children learn from home.


Fabiano, Jennifer. Ladders, “9 tips for parents navigating online learning with their children due
Learning-with-children. March 16, 2020.

Smith, Jennifer. Teach Thought, “10 Tips for Parents New to Online Homeschooling,”

Children and Screens. MetroParent, “10 Tips for Digital At-Home Learning During COVID-19,”
https://www.metroparent.com/daily/education/homeschooling/tips-for-digital-at-home-learning/. March 18, 2020.

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