Dear Maine Parents and Families,
Thank you for everything you are doing to support your children during this time of distance learning. We appreciate your assistance and hope this collection of resources will answer some of your questions and provide useful tools. During this challenging time, give yourself permission to do the best you can, but know there is no expectation of perfection. We are all adjusting to a new normal. Thinking and learning will continue—in fact, children will likely gain valuable life lessons and skills from this experience, such as perseverance, adaptability, and how to deal with loss of contact with friends and teachers. Remember, your positive interactions and engagement in simple activities with your child(ren) help them know you care and are there to support them.
Build your Toolkit
Parents, we have compiled an extensive list of age appropriate online resources to assist you in your search for quality educational tools.
General Tips for Parents/Families
Take care of yourself and family!
Your physical and mental well-being is most important.
Create a positive learning environment.
- Work with your child(ren) to plan daily schedules that include time for learning, physical activity, and relaxation breaks.
- Create distraction free places for your child(ren) to work/study.
- Become familiar with technology, tools, and connectivity options needed for your child(ren) to participate in distance learning.
- Understand parent controls.
- Include a balance of screen time learning with screen-free learning.
- Collaborate and check in with your child(ren)'s teacher(s) digitally or by phone. Let them know if you have questions or need more time or assistance.
Take time to talk with your child or teen about COVID-19.
- Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
Engaging and Motivating Children During Distance Learning
- Establish regular routines. Children (and adults) feel better when they have regular routines for sleeping, eating, working, exercising, and playing.
- When possible, provide opportunities for children to make choices about learning or how they will accomplish tasks. Children react better when they have some control over their learning. For instance, if your child needs to read a book, give them the choice of reading on the couch or reading at the kitchen table. Use choice boards as a tool to motivate children.
- Make learning fun—use games and every-day life experiences to spark thinking and conversation. Here are some simple methods to consider.
- Stress the positives and let the small things go—look for what your child is doing right and capitalize on opportunities to give positive feedback. Positive feedback is a big motivator!
- Follow your child’s passions. Children will be more interested in learning about what they care about. Use hobbies as an avenue to build academic skills.
- Strike a balance. Set clear expectations for what needs to be accomplished (have to’s) and offer your child(ren) opportunity to select some activities they want to do. You can model this if you are working from home—be open with your children about time frames when you need to focus on work and times when you can be more present and engaged with them. This will help them to see how they also need times to focus on learning and time to play and relax.
- Be patient with your child(ren) and yourself. No one expects perfection.
Maintaining Emotional Well-Being
- Fear, anxiety, grief, sense of loss, and stress are natural reactions to a situation like the one in which we are currently living, especially when much is unknown, routines have changed drastically, social interaction is happening differently, and events that were eagerly anticipated may likely not happen. It is normal for children and adults to experience strong emotions and/or to have difficulty managing those emotions. Here are some tips to help yourselves and your children manage emotional well-being:
- Check out these tools for building emotional well-being: