• Leslie Scarpa

6 Tips to Make Distance Learning a Success

The school year is upon us and many parents are still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their children will be distance learning from home.

It was daunting enough when the school doors closed in the spring, but at least summer was coming, so there was an end in sight … or so we thought.

With the recent spikes of the COVID-19 Virus, we now find ourselves back in the business of doing school from home. Although we may be a little more prepared than last March, we are also a little more, well, TIRED.

Our kids miss their friends, their teachers, their everyday school routines. And parents… well let’s just be honest, we are WORN OUT from juggling our own jobs and teaching, entertaining, caring for our kids.

Am I right?

Psst… it’s okay to admit that! It doesn’t mean you're a bad parent; it means you're normal.

As a parent and a former classroom teacher, I thought I’d share a few tips to help you and your children get off to a great start this school year. With a little luck they will be back to the regular school before too long, but for now, let’s start strong.

1. Set them up for success – the shift this past Spring gave you no time for this, however you do have time now.

· Create a space in your home designated for schoolwork.

· Seat them away from the TV (or at least have it turned off).

· Have a basket of necessary school supplies on the desk or table, just like they would at school.

· Let the kids help you set up the space. A little ownership in the process goes a long way.

2. Create a schedule

· Have a starting and ending time, but be flexible when necessary

· Let the kids choose what to work on first when possible (this is a great way for them to learn time management lessons first-hand)

· Have a clock (preferably an analog clock) at the work area for the kids to read the time, figure out elapsed time, set the time etc. This is a great way to make learning the standard of telling time relevant and applicable.

3. Incorporate Movement

· Kids need to move throughout the day.

· Include the movement breaks in your schedule

· Incorporate telling time by referencing the clock – “We will have a break in how many more minutes?” “If we play for 15 minutes, what time will it be when we get back to work?”

4. Keep lunch time separate from work time

· The kids need the break – you do too

5. Have the kids set weekly goals

· They don’t have to be grandiose, teach them how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals so they can feel good about their progress and understand the importance of setting real expectations for themselves. (This can be a huge confidence booster for them)

· Save their goals in a folder so that they can go back and see their progress. It will also be valuable information to share with their teacher.

6. Take learning beyond the classroom when possible

· Working on measurement? Let them help you cook a meal.

· Working on area and perimeter? Grab the Legos and have them draw, plan and build a structure, figuring out the math in a tangible way.

· For Science, start a garden, watch an Animal Planet or other TV show about their curriculum content and discuss what they learned.

Learning looks different for every student and every teacher. Kids are natural learners. Use them as your guide. This is an opportunity to ignite, or reignite their passion for learning.


With the schedule in place, the kids will know what to do, when to do it, and where to be. A little organization ahead of time, along with the structure it provides, will allow you to also get your work done. (Plus - you’ll be modeling for them how to stay on task and complete assignments.

And one last, VERY important thing… be sure to ask for help when you need it.

Other parents, your teachers, etc. are your best resource.

And of course, I’m here to help, encourage and support you in any way I can. Be sure to check out my free downloadable resources in my monthly newsletter or on my website.

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