Search form

Tips For Getting Parents Engaged in Distance Learning

The education sector has moved to remote learning. This dynamic change in the school setting was overwhelming to the students, teachers, and parents. In this new norm, parent and guardian engagement in learning is more important now than ever. Without support from parents and guardians, students will not progress as well as they should. Unlike the school-based setting, teachers are not physically present to monitor each student's progress in the virtual environment.

How to Get Parents Engaged in Distance Learning

Virtual learning requires a joint effort between teachers and parents, and guardians to help students succeed. Teachers need to work closely with the parents and guardians to deliver the best learning for their students. The following are tips on what works well in engaging parents in a remote learning setting.

Understand the Family Situation

It is important to understand that parents and guardians are also having their share of disruptions amid a global health crisis. They, too, are having trouble adjusting and navigating the world of working-at-home while also running their households. Even with the change in teaching venue, parents and guardians should create a remote learning plan for their students.

Getting parents and guardians involved in a remote learning plan can help realize the students' goals. Understanding a student's family background will help a great deal when you devise a plan that fits all family situations and settings. Carry out extensive surveys about who will be available at home to help the student during remote learning hours.

Build a Relationship with The Parents

Building a close relationship with students and their families is essential to any learning environment. This is even more important in a distance learning setting. Students spend a considerable chunk of their time learning at home in their parents' presence. You need to know if a parent will be working alongside the student or at least home with the child. Assistance may be necessary if the child is grade school-aged. 

Having a close relationship with the families can help you get timely feedback on your students' challenges at home. You will also be able to track their individual needs. You can achieve this by setting up social sessions for parents and families through Zoom or another similar platform. Make your social sessions fun and interesting with dance and sing-alongs, art displays, or talent content. Showcasing student work will involve families and allow students to show what they have been working on during the long online hours. 

Encourage Simple Routines and Strategies

It would be unfair to expect parents and guardians to produce the same teaching and supervision level as certified teachers. Parents already have their worries. Therefore, it is necessary to help them by providing simple tips on establishing routines and setting up learning spaces. Provide synchronous learning schedules that they can easily follow at home. Schools should also invest in the time to discuss their online student behavior expectations with the parents.

To help with at-home student learning productivity, teachers should provide parents with tips on boosting their children's concentration and productivity. This can range from setting up a conducive learning environment to how students can avoid internet distractions. This should ease not only the teacher's work but also enhance the success of distance learning programs. As with the traditional learning environments, parents' involvement plays a prominent and critical role in student success. This is why it is equally important for schools and institutions to try as much as possible to improve parent and guardian engagement.

Keep Parents in The Loop

Keep guardians and parents up to date with their students' learning progress. This ensures they stay engaged with their children's remote learning program. One great way to keep the parents and guardians informed is to sign up for summary emails through Guardian Google Class. They can choose to receive monthly, weekly, or daily emails showing their student's assignments. These emails will help the parents and guardians keep track of which assignments are missing and those coming up.

Google Classroom is one of the most convenient options since the parent and guardian only need an email account to create for free. Parents and guardians will then receive email updates on any of their connected devices like phones.

Educate Families on How to Support Students

Teachers and educators have developed their professional expertise over years of classroom experience and training. It is essential to understand and accept that most parents do not have any such background knowledge. Many parents and guardians may not even be aware of the principles and facts you may assume as an instructor to be basic. This is why it is essential to educate caregivers on how best they can support their students.

An effective way will be setting a Google classroom for parents, guardians, and caregivers. This platform can access how-to guides, tutorials, flyers, and other resources that they may find helpful. Institutions can also provide links to useful and preferably free resources such as learning sites and public libraries. Ensure the parents and guardians are in sync with the goals you have for students.

Provide Reliable Tech and Communication Support for Parents

At the onset of remote learning, many parents feel overwhelmed by the overnight proliferation of digital tools into their homes. Distance learning programs they may have heard from their children now become the primary mode of learning. While young tech-savvy parents and some students may be adept with these technologies, many parents lack the know-how to operate these devices or navigate the learning interfaces.

This becomes stressful at home as parents and guardians struggle to navigate the learning platforms. The students also have a hard time trying to decipher the video and written lessons. To combat confusion, include simple step-by-step instructions and short videos on accessing and navigating the learning platforms. Set up a time for parents to contact teachers directly. This can be through a phone call, skype, Zoom, or Google Meet. It also helps to have a pre-arranged protocol through which parents can have their tech problems fixed or addressed.

Copyright© 2021 Education World