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Assistant Teachers During a Virtual Learning Time... Thats you Parents!

While assisting your child’s virtual education, you may see some kids on Zoom who look like they are thriving in the environment, but your own child is not. Why do some children do all right during virtual learning and some simply just barely hang in there? There are many different types of learning styles. Most of us are a combination of a few learning styles with usually one a

s our most dominate one. So, here are the learning styles:

  1. Visual – Learn by seeing.

    1. Charts graphs

    2. Power Points

    3. Lesson Outlines

  2. Auditory – Learn by hearing.

    1. Read aloud

    2. Verbal instructions

    3. Discussions

    4. Repeat to a friend

  3. Read/Write – Learn by reading and writing.

    1. Books and notes

    2. Note-taking or re-writing

    3. Dictionaries

  4. Kinesthetic – Learn by doing.

    1. Touch and feel - tactile

    2. Do by learning

    3. Incorporate body movement

During virtual schooling, I have learned that my oldest child (who is in 2nd grade) which I would never had without this virtual learning experience. She is a very hands-on type of learner and not really much of an auditory learner. In fact, she is very low on this end of the learning spectrum- so low that when she is Zoom for more than 1 hour, she looks all over the room and seems to glaze over and almost doesn’t even hear what the teacher says anymore. When I have been next to her and the teacher has finished with one assignment and asked them to turn to a different page, other children are working on it but she hasn’t even heard the teacher.

Several things happen because she doesn’t like learning on Zoom; she feels like a failure when she can’t succeed in this current environment so she is not learning. Let me share some of the tips her teacher has helped me with as well as some other professionals.

  1. If a melt down is eminent - sign off of the class. For me, the goal is always to get through phonics since it’s not a subject I am good at, then we work independently as best we can. (Remembering that it’s 2nd grade and we can always play some catch up if we have to.)

  2. Make sure she has plenty of rest. Whenever she is tired, the day always goes much worse. Planning ahead can make everything better, in terms of how the day will go tomorrow.

  3. Nourishing meals and making sure she eats enough. Kids sometimes when they don’t love a food or are excited by planning will not eat all their breakfast and the wise parent knows if she doesn’t eat a certain amount in one sitting, then come 1 hour before Zoom class is over- they will be only thinking about food and not focusing on class.

  4. Play to their learning style. I know she isn’t auditory so while the teacher is helping with math, we sometimes turn the volume way down and work on our own together. This builds confidence and it also improves her enjoyment.

  5. Not rushing her. When she feels rushed, she tends to shut down more and it’s a real struggle for us since neither one of my husband or myself are stay-at-home completely. On a bad day, I am watching the clock, and while I don’t want to rush her and even wish to give her a break, I see that the clock says I will be leaving for work in an hour and need to have her finish her lessons. It is a hard balance so we just try and work a little right after breakfast before Zoom begins.

  6. Physical exercise at the breaks. The teacher had been talking about this but I hadn’t taken it as seriously as I should, now during every 10-minute break we sprint down to the closest stop sign and then scooter as hard as we can for 9 minutes. (9 minutes because you also don’t want to rush them back to class, they need to not feel frantic when returning.)

Know none of these tips are earth-shattering but they have transformed a 7-year old who did nothing but cry during class to a much more pleasant child. Of course, we still have some bad days too, but fewer now so the stress levels in our home have come down a lot.

Thank your teachers any chance you can. They are true front-line workers who deserve a gold star and so much more. They are innovators during a hectic, frantic time and I can’t stop being amazed by them. Thank you Teachers!

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