top of page

Tips on getting started with Remote Learning

As we continue to learn to live in a world responding to COVID-19, remote learning has become an essential tool in our children's lives. It can be daunting initially, especially if we do not have the required resources available. So here are some key points to help you and your child get started with remote learning.

Keep Calm, Be Patient and Plan Ahead

As we are all aware of the current COVID-19 situation, it's been more than a year and is nowhere near over. It is inevitable when schools are given short notice, and forced to shut down and switch to remote lessons instead, for the benefit of everyone's safety and well-being. This means remote learning, in whole or in part, is likely to stay for long. In this case, stay calm, be patient and try to plan ahead.

Try to find out the school's plan for the upcoming year. Do they seem prepared? If remote lessons are conducted, does the curriculum prioritize interaction over clocking 6 hours online continuously? Are exams still taking place? Will all topics still be covered or will some be omitted? If some topics are omitted, what can be done to help them catch up for the following academic year?

"Parents who are finding out that their kids are going to be learning remotely and feel unsure about the effectiveness of the implementation of the curriculum should be aware of other virtual options that are available to them," --- Jorge Valenzuela, an education coach.

Regardless of whatever reasons you feel that the school's current plans won't work for you and/or your child (eg. lack of necessary equipment, misfitting time schedule etc.), you may need to consider other options (or Maths is Fun) and have a backup plan. Don't forget to account for the time you, or your child's guardian, will need to spend supervising.

"Parents who are finding out that their kids are going to be learning remotely and feel unsure about the effectiveness of the implementation of the curriculum should be aware of other virtual options that are available to them," --- Jorge Valenzuela, an education coach.

Smoothing the Path for Your Child

It can be a lot of work for the parent or the supervising guardian, if you have multiple kids of different ages, attending different schools. This can be especially challenging if each individual schools adopts a different learning platform when remote lessons are implemented. One school may use Zoom to conduct video lessons, while another may use their own in-house Home-Based Learning platform. In this case, it would be recommended that you budget in some of your time to help your child with tech difficulties, especially if they are at a very young age.

If you are rotating supervising duties with other adults and/or guardians, it may help by writing down all the necessary websites, user login and password that your child requires for remote learning, and share it with every adult who is supervising your child.

Don't forget to break free your child from digital media whenever possible. It is part of a healthy lifestyle!

Dedicated Location

This is very important. Ensure that you set a dedicated room or space and stick to it throughout. One day in the living room, one day in the bedroom and one day on the balcony will not work. The attention span for kids is generally low and with this kind of arrangement, they will be distracted. Allocate a location for e-learning. Make this a routine for them to be ready and present at the allotted place at the scheduled time.

Provide a Conducive Learning Environment

This isn't always each, and can be even more challenging when everyone is home and the house is full of people. But when we work from home, we prefer to sit in a no disturbance zone. The same applies to kids as well.

If you make them sit in the kitchen while you cook, they will definitely get distracted. Switching on the TV or music system while the class is going on can also distract them. So please make sure the environment is conducive for learning without distractions.

Prepare Logistics in Advance

Ensure that the things your child needs are all prepared in advanced. Just imagine that they are going to school (still). Do not take the liberty to peep in and out of their room to fetch the things they need. The kids will make it a habit to loiter around the house while classes are still on if they do not have the things that they need handy.

Monitor, Don't Interfere

One important remote learning advice for parents and/or guardians is – Monitor but don’t Interfere.

Do not stay around or near your child for the whole time. Your child is attending the class, not you. Unless, it is for the purpose of technical support (eg. connecting or usage of electronic devices etc.), or if your child is very young, or it is specifically requested by the teachers for you to sit in. Otherwise, please do not interfere with the class or interrupt the teachers. Your constant pressure will make them uncomfortable.

Helping your child with answers or supporting them during assessments is not acceptable. This will lower your child’s confidence and hinder their natural learning pace. You can always help your child when you revise the topics with them after the class.

Trust the teachers and your child.

Appropriate Electronic Device

Leaving an electronic device with kids for a couple of hours arises a lot of curiosity amongst them. They will want to try switching to different windows or pressing different keys on it. Inform your child in advance not to disturb the setting of the device. Do not use devices that contain important information to you, or gaming programs that can potentially distract them. Uninstall programs that are risky and not needed.

Also, ensure you have reliable internet access.

Help Them Find Their Own Motivation

Last but not least, help your child find their own motivation. We often hear parents asking help from the teachers to motivate their child. However, motivating a child is one area where parents are (ideally) better than any teacher could be. Furthermore, the influence of parent-to-child is dynamically different from the influence of teacher-to-child. The objective here is to help them 'want to' learn and not making all motivation external and independent from the actual value of gaining knowledge.



bottom of page