Online Learning Strategies for Parents

  • Strategies for Parents to Increase Student Success during Online learning

    1. Establish a clear and consistent routine

    -Help your child create a daily schedule

                -Discuss the day’s expectations-schoolwork, chores, appointments, etc.

                -Allow your child to make choices and have input when possible

                -Build in short breaks throughout the day

                -Provide time for exercise and movement throughout the day.

                -Encourage your child to stay on a consistent sleep schedule.

                -Set daily and weekly goals for your child.

    -Create rules for completion of work

                -Choose a quiet area to work with minimal distractions

                -Turn off the TV, mute cell phone, limit screen time

                -Provide verbal and visual reminders of rules to follow and work to complete.

    -Use “If, Then” statements. Example- “If you finish your math assignment, then you can play on the Xbox.” Always present nonpreferred tasks before preferred tasks.

    -Consider use of a timer. Example-“If you work for 30 minutes straight, then you can use your phone.”

    -When doing schoolwork, students should start with easier tasks to build momentum and confidence and decrease anxiety.

    -Help your child break larger assignments into smaller tasks. Provide breaks between tasks.


    1. Provide emotional support

    -Provide empathy to your child. This is a stressful time and not an ideal learning situation. Let your child know you understand that. Lower your expectations and don’t
push too hard.

    -Calmly communicate your frustrations and emotions during this difficult time. Let your child know they are not alone in what they are feeling.

    -Show interest in what your child is learning. Ask questions, make encouraging comments.

    -If helpful, sit with your child and do work together.

    -Praise your child often for his/her efforts. Acknowledge their use of patience and grit.

    -Encourage your child to stay in touch with friends for their emotional support as well.

    -If your child is angry, encourage them to try the following calming strategy:

                -Acting without Reacting-When angry, pause before responding to conflict or stressful disagreements with others. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Walk away from the disagreement, find a quiet place to be alone, try some relaxation strategies (deep breathing, counting, etc.). After five minutes, come back to the disagreement and try to communicate calmly.

    -If your child is anxious or frustrated, encourage them to try the following strategy:

                -5-4-3-2-1-When anxious, stop what you are doing and try the following:
                        *Name 5 things you see
                        *Name 4 things you hear
                        *Name 3 things you can touch
                        *Name 2 things you smell
                        *Name 1 thing you taste

    Doing this exercise helps ground you and bring you back to the present. When anxious, we tend to focus on something stressful from the past or worry about something that may happen in the future. 5-4-3-2-1 helps to keep you in the present.     

    -If your child uses a calming strategy, praise them for using self-control and making a good choice.

    -Parents can model these calming strategies when they are anxious/upset/frustrated themselves. If your child sees you using these techniques, and staying calm, they will be more likely to use them too.

    -If your child is engaging in negative attention-seeking behavior, such as trying to make you angry or annoy you, stay calm, ignore this behavior (unless safety is an issue), and redirect them to what they should be doing. This is a technique called “planned ignoring.” Once they are doing what they should be, provide praise and positive feedback.

    -Parents need to have self-compassion. Engage in self-care to be at your best for your family.


    1. Provide positive feedback and rewards

    -Monitor grades on Home Access. Provide positive feedback and rewards for work completion.

    -Creating a reward system can motivate students to succeed at online learning.

    -Discuss with your child and make a list of rewards to earn for completion of school work.

    -Potential ideas could be: child’s favorite dinner, special dessert, treat, not having to do a chore, etc.

    -Consider creating a token reward system. For example, your child could earn a penny for each assignment completed. Earn a certain amount of pennies for different rewards. The larger the reward, the more pennies needed to earn it.

    -Alter the reward system to suit your child and situation.