Guide for At-Home Online Learning

May 6, 2021 | Newmarket

Parents have so much on their plates these days. One of the most difficult decisions they have had to make (and re-make) over the last couple of years is how their child or children will attend school - in-person or online.

For some families, remote learning has been preferred since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a choice the family opted for regardless of the ongoing school closures and reopeneing. and for many it has been a positive experience. For other families, it has been the exact opposite, causing nothing but stress, frustration and daily battles with their children, who are unhappy and uncomfortable being online.

We all know that what is going on with the education system at this time is far from perfect, and we know that online learning has some challenges…we’re parents and teachers, so we’ve experienced these challenges first-hand.

With online learning, children are expected to work more independently from home, while still receiving direction and guidance from teachers, as well as parents or caregivers. The important thing to focus on is that this online learning is providing our children the opportunity to still attend school, maintain learning momentum and learn and engage with their peers and teachers.

There is still a learning curve for students, teachers, and parents, and it can be overwhelming and frustrating for everyday despite honest best efforts being made. Students (and parents) may see new or unconventional teaching approaches and styles being tested by teachers as they try to determine how best to engage and teach their students.

For parents who are supporting their kids at home, they are ‘living’ their child’s school day each and every day, on top of their own job that they are trying to get done from home. Are you one of these parents? Do you feel like you’ve become your child’s administrative assistant, tech support and private tutor? We understand 100!

We’ve put together an at-home learning guide and tips to help parents support their children with online school.

What Should at Home Online Learning Look Like?

The [Ministry of Education](https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-at-home-learning-program-launches-today-1.5522788) has suggested the following guidelines, based on grade, for how much time students should spend each day on schoolwork:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3: Five hours of work each week, focusing on literacy & math.
  • Grades 4 to 6: Five hours of work each week, focusing on literacy, math, science & social studies.
  • Grades 7 to 8: Ten hours of work each week, focusing on math, literacy, science & social studies.
  • Grades 9 to 12:
    • Three hours of work per course each week for semestered students.
    • One and a Half hours per course each week for non-semestered students.

The above are guidelines, and they will vary based on your child’s (or family’s) unique situation, your school board, your child’s school or even from teacher to teacher. 

Helpful Tips for At-Home Learning

  1. Create a designated learning space for your child. This space is where they ‘go’ to school each day. It’s where they keep their school supplies, materials and tech are stored. This will help create structure and routine which will help reduces daily anxiety. Tip - Have them set up and clean up each day as they would in their classroom to help teach responsibility.
  2. Follow your child’s teacher’s daily schedule to the best of your ability. This ensures your child attends all google meets and lessons, is part of class discussions and interactions and helps set up them up for ongoing success. This also helps reinforce daily structure, which is much needed.
  3. Refer to and utilize any recommended support materials (websites, blogs, workbooks, etc.) that could benefit your child. Some teachers post extra resources in their google classroom, so have your child walk you through their online classroom to see what is there, and to find out if they are using any of these additional resources and materials.  If you have any questions, reach out to your child’s teacher.
  4. Speak Up. Encourage your child to self-advocate and speak up if something is not working, needs to change or if they are bored and need more challenging work. For children who are unable to advocate for themselves, or need help communicating, reach out to their teacher on their behalf and share what is not working and any ideas to improve it. An important thing to encourage your children to speak up about is if there are any signs of online bullying in school chats or emails. Things are tough enough right now and bullying of any kind will not be tolerated or accepted. 
  5. Read, read & read. Books, graphic novels, magazines, comics, newspapers, flyers, instruction manuals, recipes, food labels, anything!
  6. Move breaks outside. A healthy dose of fresh air and sunshine go a long way in improving a person’s mood, energy, and overall wellbeing.
  7. Balance daily online learning with other learning activities. There are tons of ways children learn and gain valuable life skills online and offline. Do a creative art or music project. Encourage them to learn a new skill. Have them help with cooking, baking, paying bills, gardening, laundry, etc.
  8. Get a daily dose of exercise. It benefits the body and mind, plus gives a boost of energy
  9. Unwind offline each day. We are all online more than ever, so disconnecting each day is important to our overall mental health. Maybe use this time to get a little creative and crafty together as a family. We know it’s hard, but it is 100% possible if you put your mind to it.

We know that despite guidelines and tips, at-home online learning is not effective or a positive experience for every child, especially for a subject like math. If online learning is just not cutting it when it comes to math, consider online math tutoring from Mathnasium of Newmarket! 

Our Mathnasium@Home online math tutoring program provides live, one-on-one math tutoring, that is fully customized to your child’s individual learning style. As a parent you can take comfort knowing that your child is in a safe learning environment, that is also less stressful and 100% focused on them.

We make math make sense, and we make it fun!  Our formula for teaching kids’ math, the Mathnasium Method™, has transformed the way kids learn math and boosted their self-esteem and confidence for over a decade across 1,000+ centres in the Canada and the US.

To learn more, contact our math-only learning centre at (905) 895-6284[email protected], or online through our web form.  

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