This article was written by Christine Elgersma, editor and member of the non-profit organization Common Sense, in July 2020. This document provides some essential tips to help parents and caregivers keep children focused, interested, and balanced while learning at a distance.

The distance learning scenario isn’t entirely new and the hope is that we — parents, caregivers, teachers, and school leaders — are now better prepared to support kids in their social, emotional, and academic growth during the pandemic. What’s true is that families are taking on much more responsibility for their kids’ learning than ever before. And in order for distance learning to be successful, parents and caregivers need support.

First and foremost, we all should try to remember to come from a place of empathy for parents and caregivers, students, and teachers. Parents aren’t trained teachers. And even trained educators have trouble teaching their own kids! These circumstances are a great reminder of how important teachers really are. Also, kids may or may not talk much about the virus, distance learning, or how the pandemic has affected their social lives — but they’re feeling it. Parents and educators should try to lead with love, and remember that strong relationships with kids make for positive educational experiences.

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