5 Tips for a Successful Distance Learning Experience

By: Stephanie Saavedra
As teachers and staff around the U.S. and world plan and prepare for distance learning, CCA high school English teacher and parent Stephanie Saavedra shares five helpful tips that will help parents create a productive educational environment for their child(ren). Remember, we are all in this together!

As teachers and staff around the U.S. and world plan and prepare to transition into distance learning, what tips and tricks do we, as parents, need to know? After interviewing a friend who’s been homeschooling for years and doing some research, I have compiled a few helpful tips for making sure our children are successful in distance learning.

  1. Stick to a schedule

    Have your child(ren) wake up and get dressed as if it were a normal school day. They don’t have to put on a uniform, but this does mean changing out of pajamas. (This is a good tip for adults who have to work remotely too!). Certain times should also be set aside during the day to do work for each class.

  2. Create a learning space

    Designate an area of your home (not their bedroom) for your child(ren) to complete schoolwork. This area should be away from distractions, have a place to sit with their work, and maybe include a white board calendar to stay on top of assignments. Kids should set aside time to complete their work in different learning environments — a creative space in your home, outdoors, etc. — to help break the monotony of sitting too long in one location.
    A brain break should not involve spending time on a device.
  3. Monitor

    Schoolwork should be done in an area where your child is supervised. If you will be required to go into work, programs like Family Link, Google Wifi, and Safe Browsing allow you to restrict technology as well as monitor their progress for the day. Make sure to give your child(ren) a quick call or Facetime to check in.

  4. Find community

    Talk to fellow parents and/or friends to make arrangements to monitor your child. Ask questions like:

    • Will anyone be working from home?
    • Is there a way you can split the responsibility throughout the week for a few of your children?
    • Does your child have a lot of the same classes as your friend’s child?
    • Is anyone willing to meet virtually via Facetime or Google Hangouts?

    Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers and school for support. They are working above and beyond to ensure you and your family have an excellent distance learning experience despite the circumstances.

  5. Encourage breaks

    Make sure your child has scheduled times during the day for brain breaks. Research shows that children benefit from 3-5 minute breaks for every 10-15 minute block (for elementary students) and 20-30 minute block (for middle and high school students) of focused work. Have them take a walk, ride their bike, play basketball, or sit on the porch and enjoy some fresh air. A brain break should not involve spending time on a device.

Overall, create a learning space, stick to a schedule, hold your child(ren) accountable, find community, and encourage brain breaks so that you have a good base for starting this new endeavor in distance learning. Also know that you don’t have to be an expert at everything, so give grace as you receive grace — for yourself, your kid(s), those partnering with you in their education, and the people around you.
Distance learning ultimately builds character traits such as discipline, focus, and independent thinking.
Although this method of learning is new for many of us, it will serve your child(ren) well for the future, as many college students enroll in online classes at one point or another. Distance learning ultimately builds character traits such as discipline, focus, and independent thinking.

Most importantly, be at peace knowing that we serve a great God who empathizes with our weaknesses and gives us the strength we need to accomplish His good purposes. I want to leave you with this verse, and I pray that it will serve as an encouragement to you:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and because of this, we can “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

 

Stephanie Saavedra has served as a high school English teacher at CCA for five years. Her husband oversees digital discipleship for Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, and she has two children who attend CCA. In her free time, she loves to read, bake, and paint.

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  • Maria Palacios
    Great tips and for making it easy to check out the recommended sites. May the Lord protect us all!
  • Donna Churchill
    Thank you for this very insightful email. We appreciate all of the staff and leaders who have been working so hard to ensure the students have a great virtual teaching/learning experience. God Bless you all!
  • Ana Maria Velez
    Thank you soo much for all of your hard work in trying to keep our children encouraged. We can't wait to start Distance Learning.
  • Paola Freeman
    Perfectly put together. Thank you very much for these tips. We will follow them to the T. Stay Safe????
  • Jackie Patullo
    Thank you for the tips. Phil 4:13 We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.
  • Isabella Buitrago
    Thank you so much Mrs. Saavedra for sharing these tips with us! I have already created a calendar.
  • Tammy Henghold
    Thank you. I feel this article actually supporting me in helping my kids...God bless!
  • Nicole Ferrer
    Thanks for the Tips! We got this! If God is for us, who can e againts us! Blessings to you all!
  • Yvonne Ramroopsingh
    Great article Stephanie! Sound , practical, beneficial tips for our "new norm". Thanks for all and Danny are doing for the church & CCA community.
  • Shelly-Ann Slacks
    Great tips! Thank you for sharing.
  • Charlene Montesarchio
    Thank you for the great information Stephanie! Love the call to have a true Brain Break. Get outside for fresh air and sunlight.
  • Billy Ingersoll
    Wow I can’t believe I’m going to be a homeschooler! I had better hide my huge stash of peanut M @M’s in the house!
  • Kimberlee Aliapoulios
    Thank you for the great guidelines. It is wonderful practical wisdom for all. Grace and Peace to all as we work together to further His Kingdom ...making disciples. Matthew 6:33
  • Sharon Stresau
    Thank you! This is succinct and simple but will make a great impact. I know all of this as a teacher, but the importance of it just hit me as a mom, as well.
  • Nicole Mehdipour
    This is very helpful. Thank you!
  • Mindy Bevard
    This was great info thank you so luck for sharing!
  • Tara Brown
    You're awesome Stephanie! Thanks :)
  • Tricia Dobbs
    A phenomenal article!! As parents we must help in setting our children up for success during these unknown days. Following these guidelines are a fantastic start :)
  • Meky Mendez
    Terrific and practical tips! Thank you Mrs. Saavedra.
  • Kimberly Adkins
    Great Reminders. Consistency is key.
  • Jenn Cafaro
    Great article!
  • Wayne MacDonald
    Thanks for the great advice.
  • Jodi Fairchild
    Great advice! Thank you.

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