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April 27, 2020

eLearning Tips from the Pros

Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week in May… and it really has a whole new meaning this year.

Because of the extended school closure, many parents have a renewed appreciation and understanding of how tough it is to be a teacher.

Teachers across Hillsborough County have been working hard to find the right balance of work to help students with eLearning and to make it as easy as possible on parents.

But let’s be real: There’s nothing easy about this process. However, there are ways to make it more manageable:

  • Set a regular daily schedule to complete assigned work. Use the schedule as an outline but give yourself grace to be flexible with it. Some days will be easier than others to check everything off that daily eLearning list. Divide the schedule into 15-20 minute sessions in order to give students consistent breaks. Remember: Our youngest students should only be on a device for 10-20 minutes at a time. Their attention spans can’t take much more than that.
  • During breaks in eLearning, make sure your children are up and moving around. Movement will help refocus their efforts and improve concentration.
  • Avoid distractions by turning off the television and staying away from smartphones. It’s best if you set up a desk area for your student to do their eLearning that’s quiet and removed from any distractions.
  • Keep a notebook, journal or electronic copy of all their work. This isn’t just valuable to you but it will also help their teacher see how they’re progressing.
  • BE FLEXIBLE! This is a crucial part of the eLearning process. These are uncharted waters for teachers, parents and students. But a little flexibility, from all sides, goes a long way.

Those five tips are pretty standard ways families can help make the eLearning process go more smoothly. However, since we’ve been at this for about a month now, we reached out to a few parents in our district about real-world ways they have found success in eLearning. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “My advice to parents of younger children is to participate in the fun activities with your child. I look silly dancing to the morning Go Noodle video exercises but it keeps my daughter entertained.”
  • “It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the assignments for math, ELA, science and social studies. But we’ve found that the “specials” like music, art and P.E. really help my boys take a break and still remain engaged.”
  • “If you notice a change in your child’s demeanor, reach out to the school to schedule a Zoom conference with a counselor. My daughter conferenced with the school psychologist. That 15-minute conversation was helpful for her to voice her own concerns over eLearning and the coronavirus itself.”

Most importantly, never hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or even their principal if you are struggling or have a question. They are there to help. Remember, we are ALL in this together!

 

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