We are less than a month away into the 2020-2021 school year and parents all across the nation are wondering how they’re going to do remote and distance learning for who knows for how long. Sure, we ended the school year this way, but we thought it would be a one-off experience as teachers and parents alike tried to adjust to on-the-fly remote learning. No one knew what to expect and it was the end of the year anyway, so I know I wasn’t too concerned about him falling behind.
But starting off the school year is different and I’m one of the millions of parents everywhere feeling anxious about what this new remote and distance learning experience entails. I know I’ve lost sleep on the subject and continue to do so given school districts haven’t really provided a formalized plan about what the curriculum, expectations and standards will entail. Then reading all the Facebook Group posts about remote and distance learning doesn’t help matters as it only brings up more questions and anxiety surrounding school in the fall. So what can we do about that back-to-school anxiety we’re all feeling as we gear up for round 2 of teaching our kiddos at home? Read on for some tips (that I’m practicing, too).
It Should Be Different From Spring Remote Learning
Back in spring, no one knew what they were doing when it came to school. At least now, teachers and administrators know what to expect, what not to do and how to address the problems that online schooling can have. Acknowledge your feelings about spring remote learning and try to be optimistic of the fact that teachers now have a game plan.
Note What Worked Before
Try to think back and remember what worked well about that crazy and chaotic time of learning. Did your child do best in the mornings or afternoons? Were they more willing to learn on a full stomach or did they need more breaks than usual? Maybe they worked better in their room rather than the kitchen table? Whatever it was, try to note what worked so that you can mimic that again to help this time around be more successful.
Have A Plan Drafted
Although we don’t know what’s to come with back to school learning, it might be helpful to have a hypothetical plan in place to ease your anxiety. Figure out what your biggest challenges will be and then write down a plan of action. It might be how you and your partner will divide and conquer the distance learning or it could be a hypothetical schedule that could be easily changed if needed. Try to figure out what the challenges at hand might be and then plan for them so that you’re ready to tackle them instead of letting them consume you and your child’s learning.
Throw Out Your Definition Of Normal
If you go into this school year without expectations of a “normal” school day, then you’ll be able to adjust better to whatever is thrown your way when it comes to your child’s learning experience. This year’s school day will look nothing like past years, so don’t try and make it fit into your old normal routine. Roll with the punches!
We’ve All Learned A Lot From Then
Back in spring, it was crisis learning because it was an emergency and we were all just thrown into it. This time around, we know what to expect (sort of) and are more mentally prepared than before. Your kids now know what learning on a computer entails and are used to be away from their friends. It’ll still be an adjustment, but at least it won’t be a shock to your or your child.
So if you feel the anxiety of what school will look like creep up on you, just remember that you know (sort of) what to expect and you’ve done it before. Trust that your family will get through this and find solace knowing that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling.