PORTLAND, Ore. — As the omicron variant moves through the community and forces Portland-area schools to transition to remote learning, how should parents help their kids with the change?
KGW got in touch with a couple online learning experts to give parents some tips.
Allison Galvin is the executive director at Oregon Charter Academy. Todd Schweitzer is the executive director at Frontier Charter Academy. They said they’ve seen an increase in calls from parents who are interested in learning more about their online charter schools and seeking more consistency during such an uncertain time.
Both Galvin and Schweitzer are parents themselves and understand the stress associated with the uncertainty COVID has created. Add last-minute brick-and-mortar school closures and a transition back to online learning, and many parents are scrambling to accommodate.
They had some ideas that’ll hopefully help ease the transition from in-person learning back to temporary distance learning.
“There's a few tips and tricks that really help families set up their student to have a successful online experience, including creating a designated learning space in their home, even if it's just a corner of a room, that they have that designated space, that's where work gets done,” said Galvin.
She also said setting a schedule is also a good idea.
“Whatever that schedule looks like for that household, having it be a consistent schedule,” Galvin said.
“I know when my daughter was at home, you know, we said okay, nine to three, that's our learning time.”
Taking regular breaks is also important for both adults and the youngest of students.
“Younger children do not have the cognitive development to be able to focus on a task for long periods of time,”said Schweitzer.
“Encourage building in multiple breaks. Like, we even talked to families, set recess during your day. Have recess, multiple recesses throughout your day and even call it that,” Galvin said.
And if you’ve got a student that just isn’t motivated, Schweitzer recommended parents reassure their child that the situation is temporary.
For kids with special needs who may need more help focusing, experts say to consider doing school work for smaller chunks of time and make use of rewards.