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10 Ways Parents Can Support Learning at Home

The following are suggestions to help parents support their children’s success while learning at home.

Establish routines

Establish a schedule for learning that reflects the needs of family members. A regular routine will support everyone. Make sure the schedule allows time for learning, meals, encourages movement, breaks for physical activity, creative play and keeps normal bedtime routines. 

Identify a work space

Establish a space where learning can happen regularly and works for your child and your family. This space will look different in every home – desks, kitchen tables, bedrooms or floor spaces are all possible depending on the amount of time and nature of the learning. 

Communication with your child’s educator(s)

Educators will communicate regularly. Communication will be age and grade appropriate; with younger children, communication will be with parents. At the secondary level, communication will mainly be directly with the student. The frequency of these connections will be based, in part, on your children’s needs. As always, parents who have questions should email the teacher. Teacher emails are listed on the school website, under Contact > Staff Directory.

Regular Check-Ins

Check-in with your child to see how their learning is going. Whenever possible, help them understand instructions, organize themselves and set priorities. Encouraging conversation about the learning helps to clarify the task for the learner. 

Parents can engage in their child’s learning with questions such as:

  • What are the learning goals or big ideas?
  • What resources do you require?
  • What support do you need? 
  • What question would you ask the teacher for clarification? 
  • Have you asked a friend in the class for their interpretation?

As always, please contact your child’s teacher for assistance and clarification. 

Help your child ‘own’ their learning

Group discussions, asking questions, and collaboration are part of a normal school day. Student work is usually a combination of independent work and collaboration with peers. There are many resources available to support your child’s learning.  

Parents and students can access the HCDSB Learn at Home website for additional learning resources.  If you are concerned that your child is struggling with their learning, please contact your child’s teacher for assistance.

Access to Student Learning Platforms

As a Board, we support the use of the following online learning platforms: 

Your child’s teacher will use one of these platforms to provide instruction. If your child need needs help signing on to their learning platform, please contact the teacher.

Responsible Digital Citizenship

As a school district, we place a great deal of emphasis on responsible digital citizenship. Parents are encouraged to review our Policy I-43, Use of Technology and Digital Citizenship​,  and discuss with your child how to use technology responsibly and appropriately.

Encourage physical activity

Movement and exercise are vitally important for health, well-being and learning. Frequent breaks for movement are encouraged. Remember that students are accustomed to recess, nutrition breaks, and Daily Physical Activity (DPA) and gym class. Allowing time for physical activity supports more focused time for learning.

Nurturing your child’s mental health

Continue to monitor and limit your child’s exposure to media. Your child may have a lot of questions or worries. You can show support by listening, validating their worries and concerns, and reassuring them that this situation will not last forever.

Here are some resources you might find helpful:  

https://www.hcdsb.org/Parents/safeandhealthy/covid-19/Documents/ResourcesforHCDSBParentsandFamilies-COVID-19.pdf

Set Guidelines for Social Media

If your child uses social media to connect with friends,  encourage responsible use of technology – being respectful and appropriate in communicating with others is very important. Here is a link to some social media guidelines for children. 

Talk regularly with your child about their social media interactions.

Get to know the online environments or social media platforms your child uses and teach them how to deal with inappropriate material.

Additional information for parents is also available on the Government of Canada website at: Get Cyber Safe – Keeping Your Child Safe Online.

Elementary Principal10 Ways Parents Can Support Learning at Home