Turn Down the Stress of Distance Learning
It’s now been a few weeks into the school year so it’s a good time to assess how your child is adjusting to this new normal of remote and/or hybrid learning. Since distance learning can be extra stressful for children (and you), it is important to take the time to check in with your child to ask how they are feeling. Even though you cannot change the current learning environment, there are ways to help reduce the stress your child may have.
Stick to a routine: Children thrive on routine so create a daily schedule that allows for plenty of time for meals (including family dinners if possible), academic time, unstructured time (preferably electronically free), physical activity and time to connect with others.
Practice self-care: Make sure your children’s basic needs are met. This may seem like a no brainer, but it is easy to lose track of time when you are sitting in front of a screen all day. You may need to remind them to take breaks to eat, use the bathroom, drink lots of water and go to bed at a decent time. Although younger children may need to rely more on parents for meals, older children can prepare their own meals especially if you prepare ahead of time by prepping snacks and ingredients that they can grab from the refrigerator.
Exercise and get outside: It is essential for your child to make time for exercise. They should have at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and go for a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood. If going outside is not possible, find another way to fit it into the day. It can be as simple as putting on some music and dancing or getting up and walking around the house for a few minutes. Don’t be afraid to try something new, get silly and involve the family (Family Yoga or Twister anyone?) The more fun you make it, the more likely everyone will want to participate.
Take a break from electronics: Remote and Hybrid Learning naturally involves the use of electronics so make it a point to limit your child’s use of electronics (XBox, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) as extra entertainment.
Reach out to the teacher and/or school administrators: If your child is really struggling and you are unable to help them, reach out to their teachers, school counselors or administrators. Communication between parents and the school has always been crucial in ensuring your child’s success at school, but now it is even more important to ask for help if you need it. We are all in this together!
These are trying times for everyone and we could all use a little extra patience as we navigate these uncharted waters. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and walk away. No one is perfect and mistakes will be made. When that happens, extend a little grace to yourself and your loved ones, forgive and move on. Remember this too shall pass.
Any questions? Please email us at Janice@Neighborhoodlit.com. Taylor Burke is a teacher and Director of Communications at Neighborhood Lit. and works closely with Janice Migliazza, a Reading Specialist and owner of Neighborhood Lit, Route 34, Colts Neck to bring you this information.