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Distance learning is perhaps one of the greatest stressors this back to school season. Challenges arise when parents have minimal tech skills to support their children through the use of different applications. This month we explore helpful tips on how to mitigate the stress associated with back to school, distance learning, and COVID-19. 

ACS International School shared the following guidance for parents to set their children up for success in distance learning environments. These tips are intended to guide parents through setting a structure at home, similar to what they have at a traditional school setting. Since children are accustomed to having structure in a school setting, implementing it at home will facilitate the transition from physical to online studies.. Read more on


  1. It is important to establish good habits from the start. Begin by establishing routines and expectations. Create a flexible routine and talk about how it's working over time with your kids. Have your children get up, get dressed and ready to learn at a reasonable time, ideally no later than 9 am. Have children keep normal bedtime routines, including normal rules for digital devices. The idea is to mimic the structure of going to school physically to empower children to participate as they would on campus.

  2. Choose a good learning space. Evaluate the usual place your children use to work on occasional homework as it might not be appropriate for extended periods of time. Set up a place at home that is dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure to pick a quiet place, free from distractions. Make sure to monitor that your children are on task by keeping doors open. Discuss practicing digital safety with your children and monitor their online use. It is always recommended to use parenting blocks for online browsing to keep children safe from inappropriate content. 

  3. Stay in touch with teachers. Most teachers will be communicating regularly with their students via a virtual meeting application such as WebEx or Zoom. Stay in contact with teachers, school staff and support regularly. Encourage your children to reach out via email should they have any questions on assignments. This is especially important should any tech issues arise such as problems logging in, etc. Many school districts are also utilizing communication apps such as Microsoft Teams, Remind, and Classroom Dojo. Active communication is key to your child's success!

  4. Begin and end your day with check in's. Checking in with your children at the start and end of the day is important to assist them in processing the information received from their teachers. Check ins also help children organize themselves and set priorities. 

Some questions you might as in the morning include: 
What classes/subjects do you have today?
Do you have any assessments?
Do you have any zoom/web ex (virtual meetings) meetings this morning?
How will you spend your time?
What assignments are due today?
What resources do you need?
What can I help you with?

Some questions you might ask at the end of the day include:
How far did you get in your learning tasks today?
What was challenging today?
What can we do to make tomorrow better?


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