Going Remote? Helping Kids Thrive with Distance Learning

Tips for Surviving Remote School by Devorah Heitner (download)

Going “back to school” or starting a new school  remotely  will be a huge adjustment. It turns out this is a marathon, not a sprint.  My son  just started middle school remotely with teachers he has never met in person. It is a loooong day of zoom. I feel for him, and for all the kids. And trying to work while walking our kids through these transitions is no picnic, either.

Wired Magazine asked me about how to  “make distance learning suck a little less?
(a more realistic goal than loving every minute.)

The Wired article pulls together some good tips, so do check it out. The monster tip from that article that I especially want to share with you:

Having this information at your fingertips to will help kids be more independent. It will save you at least a few interruptions and headaches during a stressful time.

Here are some other ways to make it better. 

No kids, teens or adults should be sedentary and plugged in all day!

Movement is crucial

  • Walk or go outside or dance before sitting down to work
  • Stretch in between classes
  • Remember hydration and snacks
  • Try: pushups, jumping jacks, running around the block

Communicate with teachers

  • Is there an older sibling helping the younger one during school time? Let the teacher know.
  • Has your child been stressed? Let the teacher know.
  • Is there a time of day that’s proving hard for the one of your kids? Let the teacher know.
  • Is there a conflict with timing between your work responsibilities and something your child is expected to do?  Let the teacher know.

Troubleshoot Distractions

  • Try to create an environment with fewer distractions
  • Headphones can help some kids, especially if multiple siblings are doing remote school in the same space.
  • Help your child see potential distractions in the environment
    –Are those legos distracting you during class? Lets move them somewhere else.

Self Care

  • Sit in your car or somewhere you have privacy and call a friend
  • Take a walk by yourself
  • Jam your pandemic anthem while you do house tasks
  • Let something go. Everything will be OK. Parents are being asked to do the impossible.
  • Remember: This is a very hard time. Don’t let remote school hurt your relationship with your kids. You are doing your best and it is good enough!

    Would you like these tips downloadable PDF?  Here you go:

    Tips for Surviving Remote School by Devorah Heitner (download)

    (click to) Share these tips on Facebook.

    Back to school talks Devorah Heitner


Ultimately, kids are wired to learn and they are learning a lot during this pandemic. It may not be what we expected for them or for us, but they are learning. Giving kids, who have lost so much autonomy, a true choice about something they WANT to learn can help them regain some sense of control and reduce stress levels. This is the time for tapping into kid’s intrinsic interests and motivation. If they want to read about ninjas, let them read about ninjas. Is your library offering curbside pickup?  You can stock up. And once again… Remember: You are doing your best and it is good enough!


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