We’ve heard it from our parents, our students, teachers and school administrators: the modified learning environments necessitated by pandemic restrictions are a strain on everyone. While each family’s situation and constraints are different, we found the following tips from this piece, published by the Ottawa Life Magazine, about how parents can help their students to manage a new type of school term particularly useful. Here are our top takeaways:
Make time to talk
As your students head into a new term, call a “family meeting” to have a frank discussion about the reality of their new learning style. Encourage each person to express their feelings about the situation and allow space for everyone to share their concerns. Set a tone for the year that normalizes talking about feelings like being anxious or overwhelmed.
Show your support
Reassure your students that although things are difficult, they’ll make it through. Remind them you’re there to support them, and that they should focus on giving the year their best effort. Making this school year’s goal “best effort” instead of “high grades” will show them that their well-being is your priority.
Develop a structure
Help your students maintain a routine. Even though their days may look different, create a structure that still accounts for a full school day, studying and homework time, and time for extracurricular activities and hobbies. Establishing a system will help your students stay organized and focused.
Find a study buddy
Dozens of other students are in the same learning situation. See if your student is interested in finding a remote study buddy who wants to chat about strategies for virtual learning. Working with another student invested in the same goals will help your student stay engaged and motivated.
Clarify the curriculum
Check with your students’ teachers to confirm the essential topics students need to master, so you can help your students determine where to focus their time and how they can spend time in self-study. Setting some narrowed and specific goals will help set them up for success.
Want more? You can read the full list of suggestions here. The author concludes her piece with the following advice:
“Teach your children to be organized and to try hard. Teach them to lean in and apply themselves to the work their teachers are able to impart. Let them know you love them no matter what, and that that love is not based upon the grades they get. In the end, this pandemic time period may help [students] mature more quickly and develop a strong independent work ethic which will stand them in good stead going forward with their education and future work life.”
Looking for other ways to support your students? Read our blog on how parents can help with the post-secondary process and how parents can help their students find scholarships. Our educational consultants, writing coaches, and front desk team are all available to help answer questions and share resources. Reach out to our team.