How to Encourage Independence in Your Children While Remote Learning

As the school year switches from in-person to almost completely online, many parents are settling into the realization that they’ll need to be far more hands-on than in past school years. Rather than organizing school pick-ups and drop-offs, then helping out with homework in the evening, many parents are now sitting alongside their children as they are guided through the entire school day via a computer monitor for remote schooling. As many adults are still working from home, the family house may very well look more like a co-working space than a cozy dwelling.

With the fusion of activity, you may now feel like an on-call teaching assistant. While your involvement will no doubt increase, there are still ways you can maintain your work time during the day, while encouraging your child to power through the school day with an air of confidence. 

Ensure that your child feels comfortable with their coursework, and that they have a strong grasp of what’s being presented to them. Similar to how one may operate in a pre-pandemic school year, ask your child about their school day during family dinner, or as you wind down in the evening time. Feel free to check in throughout the day during natural moments (such as during a lunch or play break), but leave enough breathing room for your child to be able to feel as if they’re still navigating their school day on their own. 

“There are elements of the school day that can remain intact whether the learning takes place in a building or in a home”

Being at home together means that your child will have more access to you than they typically do during the school day. Whereas you may be used to going six or more hours without talking to your child during a standard school year, you’re likely now only a door-knock away from your child. To maintain a sense of independence for your child, set the expectation that you may be unavailable during certain points of the day if you’re working or completing other tasks that require your full focus. This will ensure that your child pushes through their work, asks questions to their teacher online, or is inspired to do extra research to aid in their work. 

While things look drastically different than parents are used to, there are elements of the school day that can remain intact whether the learning takes place in a building or in a home. One of these elements is the self-sufficiency that a child exercises while learning at school. The mixture of regular check-ins from parents when needed, and plenty of space for your child to feel empowered, make a wonderful combination in which your child feels supported and trusted to be a great student.

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