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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Haney

5 Parent Tips for Transitioning Back to Distance Learning after Winter Break

The first day back to school after winter break is not without its challenges. Most students have probably experienced less structure over break; sleeping in, spending more time with family and having plenty of time to rest and play.

Easing your kids back into the online school routine will take careful planning, but it’s your time to evaluate what changes could be made to make this time better for you and your kids. Just like you prepared for the first day of school, because it is kinda like the first day all over again.

Being in the parent and teacher role is tricky. Here are a few tips to help you and your kids make the transition gracefully.

#1 Plan ahead, save some stress

  • Organize daily timeframes for zoom calls, work time and lunch/snack breaks as well as needed “recess” play time.

  • KEY TIP: allow extra time for play time and snacks/lunch for the first week to ease into schooltime/playtime balance.

  • Plan a support system ahead of time for when you get busy or need time for yourself. Establish how you can allow your kids to take charge of their own schedules (Using whiteboards or checklists for daily tasks, having schedules visible keep kids on task, etc).

#2 Remind of rules and routines, or set some new ones

Getting back to the routine you’ve worked so hard to establish as quickly as you can is the ultimate goal after winter break. Reviewing some rules and norms to refresh your kids memory. This also might be the time to make some new ones. A great way to establish rules is to make them together, ask your kids what rules they think should be in your “at home classroom.” This will allow them to take more responsibility and follow through.

#3 Test-drive technology

Now is a great time to refamiliarize yourself with the technology they’re using and review internet safety.

  • Test out child’s technology to see if it performs optimally with internet connections.

  • Review house rules on internet use and consequences for breaking those rules.

  • Have a conversation with your child about common pitfalls of the internet including clicking on spam links, downloading content, cyberbullying and predators.

#4 Connect with teachers and clinicians

Transitioning to online was a change for families and is also a major change for teachers. By collaborating with your teacher and clinician you can find creative ways to engage your child in learning and communicate successes and areas for problem solving. If your child has a 504 plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP), stay connected with their special education teacher or case manager to see what changes they’re seeing and how to improve. Duluth Core Learning’s Clinicians are always in contact with the appropriate teachers to track changes, accomplishments and improve learning both in the clinic and in the classroom.

#5 Be on the lookout!

Undoubtedly, some of your little people will have a harder time getting back to school again after a long fun break. After spending a couple of weeks fun filled, a little sadness is only natural. Keep it positive and offer your kids lots of encouragement, smiles and hugs. Let them know how excited they are for you to take on this school year and eventually meeting a personal goal such as:

  • Becoming a 3rd,4th,5th,6th,etc. Grader

  • Mastering Addition, Subtraction, etc.

  • Learning the color wheel, finding their creativity, etc.

Keeping the personal goal surrounding a familiar enjoyable class will encourage them best!

We have so much to look forward to in 2021, no one knows what kinds of changes might take place in the future. Why not start it on the right foot and be prepared for starting up classes in any form of a distance learning model!


Outside of School Help/Therapeutic Learning:

How Has Covid-19 Affected Your Child’s Learning? :

Therapeutic Learning Clinic:

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