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Tips for co-parents to approach distance learning

At the end of the last school year, parents and children alike slowly adjusted to the new reality of distance learning. Adjusting to these changes was stressful for many parents, especially divorced parents trying to facilitate distance learning in two homes.

This will remain the reality for many families as most North Carolina schools move forward with remote distance learning. As this new school year begins, what can co-parents do to help their children learn this year – as well as reduce everyone’s stress?

1. Communicate

Healthy and productive communication is essential in almost every aspect of co-parenting. Distance learning is new for many families, and consistent communication between parents can help children feel more prepared.

For example, parents should discuss:

  • The school’s plans: Parents should ensure they understand the district’s plan for this school year. It can also help if co-parents reach out to their child’s teacher to understand remote classroom expectations.
  • What works for the child: Parents know their children best. Therefore, it helps if parents consider how their child learns and implement strategies to ensure their child can stay on task while they learn remotely.
  • The family’s plan: CNN reports that parents should consider creating a family mission statement for this school year. This should address how families will achieve distance learning goals and support each other. Such a mission statement could be even more important and effective for divorced parents.

Communication is critical to plan for the school year, but parents should also maintain regular conversations about the child’s progress and address any issues they face throughout the year as well.

2. Maintain a similar schedule

Children thrive on a routine – especially when it comes to learning.

Parents should try to maintain a similar routine at both houses during the school year. The school’s schedule will help to determine the child’s routine, but parents should also establish a consistent routine for:

  • When children wake up and eat breakfast
  • Breaks throughout the day, such as lunchtime
  • Homework times and schedules

This can help children stay focused on learning at home.

3. Make time to move

This is important for children of all ages. Younger children are often used to recess, while older children usually have a gym class to let out energy during the day. Parents should also arrange a regular time for children to get outside or get moving to refocus and reduce stress.

This school year could hold many challenges for families, especially when parents live in two different households. However, if parents take time to plan and ensure they are on the same page to fulfill their child’s educational needs, they can equip themselves to help their children succeed.