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Tips for Families to Support Online Learning
Tips for Families to Support Online Learning

Teachers strive to work in partnership with home to support student learning and well-being in culturally responsive ways.  Parents and families know their children best. As we transition to this new online learning context, please find some considerations below for supporting your child(ren) from home.

A PDF version of this resource​ is also available for use.

Establish and Ma​intain Routines 

Help your child(ren) set regular hours for their school work using a calendar or checklist of required tasks per day. Expectations for daily tasks are important but do not have to be rigid and need to work for your family context. Customize your child(ren)’s schedule to fit their needs, as well as those of your family. Routines such as bedtime, nutrition, hygiene and physical activity are important. Establish these parameters from the beginning to build habits of success. At the end of the week, review which routines worked well and which may need to be adjusted moving forward.

Start/End Each Day With a Lea​rning Check-In 

Regular check-ins with your child(ren) will help them to process instructions, organize their work and proceed with the learning for the day.  Engaging with your child(ren)’s learning can help support learning skills and work habits needed for successful online learning.  

Monitor Communications from your Child’​s Teacher(s)

Consider logging into online classrooms regularly to see announcements and lessons/activities posted by your child(ren)’s teacher and continue to communicate with the teacher as needed. Students are to do their best to complete work on time and meet deadlines and can connect with their teacher during the teacher’s scheduled office hours when they need support.  

Find a Physical Space for Le​​arning 

We encourage families to help their child(ren) find a space(s) to work that supports sustained concentration, reading/listening/viewing and where they can check-in with them (consider using headphones where possible/appropriate). It is also important to remember that many children benefit from a 'flexible learning space,' meaning one where they can rearrange things or move to a different space depending on the type of work they are doing (e.g., move to a couch or beanbag chair for reading).

Encourage Physical Activity and/or E​xercise

Research shows that increased physical activity has a positive effect on cognitive functioning, health, well-being and learning. Remind your child(ren) to move and exercise. Take breaks from the learning when needed and get outside if possible. Consider an online physical challenge and/or exercise class.  

Remain Mindful of How your Child​ is Feeling

Online learning is new for everyone, so it’s important to monitor and support your child(ren)’s well-being in this new context. Children may need help managing the worry, anxiety and range of emotions they may experience. Access ​mental health and community support resources​ as needed.

Support Digital Citizenship 

Support your child(ren) in connecting online socially, but be aware of their online interactions and the total amount of time they spend online. Monitor and set parameters for your child(ren)’s use of social media and the platforms they use. Remind your child(ren) that the rules of the classroom apply online too.  They must be respectful and appropriate in their online communications. Online interactions should continue to align with the board's ​Digital Citizenship​ policy. Follow the YRDSB Guidelines for Acceptable use of Technology (PDF)

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