Without a doubt, the current pandemic has tested the flexibility of our educational system. Social distancing and other health considerations have made hybrid learning or distance learning the norm for now. If your child requires therapeutic learning, this has been an especially difficult time in their life, and educational journey. As we approach one full year in hybrid learning, here are a few ways to refresh your approach to at-home or hybrid instruction from a therapeutic perspective.
- Children need routines to feel secure. Children on all parts of the spectrum can reduce stress and anxiety through the security of a reliable routine. Create a schedule for your child’s school and home life. Be sure to include time for breaks, hobbies, alone time, and blowing off a little steam for both you and your child.
- Take stock of where your child attends at-home school. If possible, create a designated school area in your home or child’s room separate from where they play. It’s best if their bed is out of view, so your child can feel more focused.
- Making friends can be difficult enough for so many kids, but even harder without regular classroom interactions. If your child is struggling socially, their educators and therapists can help facilitate those connections. You as a parent can encourage new relationships, give advice, and even plan socially distanced, masked outdoor meetings if both families are comfortable. Try activities like tennis, enjoying nature, or a shared hobby of both kids.
- Keeping your child focused is harder in a hybrid-learning environment, especially without the benefit of a teacher’s training and experience. Accept that you will do your best but will also struggle. Don’t feel ashamed if your child can’t complete all of their work each day – educators and kids are doing their best as well.
- Check in with your child’s teachers to see areas where your child may be falling behind or excelling. Strive for progress, not perfection.
Though the nature of education has changed, therapeutic learning is still happening at a distance. Follow the above guidelines and consult with teachers and staff to see how you can create the best hybrid learning environment that you as a parent can make.