Expert offers tips for parents at start of challenging year

Expert offers tips for parents at start of challenging year

CUMBERLAND – Rebecca Johnson, owner of Sylvan Learning in Cumberland, is offering some solutions and tips for parents who will be managing learning at home in the upcoming school year.

• The time factor – If you’re a parent who is working at the same time that your child is expected to be doing schoolwork, it’s hard to juggle expectations. Solution: Mark off times on your work day calendar to include a half-hour in the morning, hour at lunch, and half-hour at the end of the day to make family time.

• Lack of access to devices – In some economic groups, there are problems with access to devices and reliable internet. Solution: Check with the school district to make sure you are getting worksheets mailed to you, and some school districts are also distributing devices.

• Missing information – Schools are overwhelmed and trying to navigate the pandemic just as parents are. They’re not purposely leaving parents in the dark. Solution: Join Facebook parent groups and speak with neighbors you trust. It’s likely someone else may have the same concern as you and also may have the school’s answer.

• You need help – It’s OK to acknowledge you don’t know what you’re doing and need help. Solution: If you’re able to afford it, check out virtual tutoring services. Even if you can’t afford them, there are plenty of free resources available.

• You are overwhelmed – Parents need to give themselves a break. All children are “falling behind,” so there is no behind. Solution: It’s just as engaging and educational to put down the lesson plans and go outside. Read under a tree, go for a walk in the woods and name the trees, teach them how to change a tire, sew a button, etc. There are life skills you can teach them during this time.