Supporting Parents with At Home Learning
Posted on May 19th, 2020
Engaging With Your Child While Learning At Home
Learning from home is not easy and can be a challenge for everyone: students, teachers and
especially parents. Remember: you are not your child’s teacher, you are their guide, their
supporter and main encourager. Here are some sanity tips to get you through this difficult
1. Stay calm, don’t panic, smile and try to have fun. Your child will pick up on your
feelings, whether you're relaxed or stressed.2. Connect with your child’s school teacher. They will be your greatest support.
3. At a minimum, work for 20-30 minutes, then take a 10 minute movement break.
4. Creating a special space dedicated just for school will make it easier for your child to
concentrate. Preferably a place that is separate from where they play and eat and can
be left undisturbed. It does not need to be fancy. If you’re short on space, keep all
supplies in a tote so it can be put away during meal time or play time. It will bring
closure to their “school day”.
5. Rather than punish or threaten your child, have them earn privileges. Learn what
motivates your child best and use that as the reward (going for ice cream with you,
screen time, bike ride, board game, crafts, baking, cuddles)
6. Routine is everything. Schedules provide security of what to expect and when,
providing building blocks to success. Divide the day into chunks: time for learning,
chores, activities, your own work and breaks from one another.
* Write the schedule out and post in a high traffic area of your home. Revisit it
often to see what is working and what needs to be changed.
7. Use the “First, then” technique. “First, join your teacher for on-line learning, then we
will jump on the trampoline”. “First, read for 15 minutes, then we’ll have a treat.”
8. Learning can happen anywhere: Numeracy and literacy is found when baking, telling
time, building/construction, board and card games, reading traffic signs, memorizing
license plates, reading grocery items, reading to their pet. Science in the garden, on a
walk or watching a documentary together. Social studies can happen while listening to
the news, taking a virtual tour of a museum. Spark their interest by asking open
ended questions. Encourage your child to be curious and adventurous.
9. It is ok if your child has a meltdown. Difficulty focusing, withdrawing or having a
tantrum, may be their way of telling you they are having a hard time meeting all the
expectations placed on them. Little people experiencing big feelings will come across
through their behavior.
The reality is, your job as a parent right now is less about academics and more about
encouraging resilience, creating a sense of calm and safety for your child. The most
important thing you can teach them during this time is how to manage big feelings under
Be sure you look after yourself too. Don’t feel guilty about practicing healthy coping
strategies, that is teaching your child how to cope.
Resources: additudemag.com; greatergood.berkeley.edu; prodigygame.com; edmonton.ctvnew.ca/tips-forhomeschooling; futurelean.com; powerhomeschool.org
This information was written by Tammy Charko BA, BSW, RSW. Tammy is Northern Gateway Public School’s Student Support Facilitator.