Remote learning may be here to stay, at least for a while, according to a recent article in The New York Times. That’s not good news for the many working parents who are burned-out from guiding their children’s education at home. But educational publishers could help parents make the most of their children’s at-home learning.
Many publishers already offer family letters or home-school connection features to keep parents informed. But what about expanding these features to address the remote-learning issues parents are facing? Here are some ideas.
Explain What is Taught and Why
The problem: Unlike teachers, most parents aren’t used to interpreting educational standards or curriculum. They might look over an assignment and wonder why their child has to solve a problem a certain way or write about a specific topic.
The solution: Create parent resources that explain how a lesson or assignment fits into the big picture of grade-level skills and content. Parents can better help their child if they know where their child’s learning is headed.
Help Parents Prioritize
The problem: Although schools may not like to admit it, remote learning often has practical time constraints. If parents have only one free hour a day to help their child with assignments, what should they focus on?
The solution: Parent resources could highlight the most important takeaways from the lesson, unit, or assignment. Publishers could also provide a few different options for activities with varying time commitments. This flexibility would allow parents to reinforce key skills in whatever time they have available.
Provide Quick Refreshers
The problem: Without steady access to their teachers during the school day, who do students turn to when they have questions? Their parents! Unfortunately, parents might be a little rusty when it comes to multiplying fractions or identifying adverbs.
The solution: Parent resources could include quick refreshers on skills and content to jog parents’ memories from long-ago school days. Publishers should also provide helpful links parents can turn to when they are stumped by their child’s work.
This pandemic has shown that teachers are irreplaceable, and everyone is eager for students to get back into the classroom once it is safe. Until then, many families will continue playing a role in their children’s day-to-day schooling. That means educational publishers must be doing all they can to support students, teachers, and parents.