Parent Tips and Tools for Virtual Learning

Parent Tips and Tools

Below are a variety of tips and tools for parents and caregivers to help navigate the 2020-2021 school year and support their child’s virtual learning at home. Have a resource for parents you think might be a good addition to this page? Send it to us at

Last updated 12/11/2020

Parent Tips Tools for Virtual Learning

Pearl Chang Esau, parent of three and former classroom teacher, shares tips for virtual learning and how best to support educators this year on a recent broadcast of Arizona PBS BREAK IT DOWN.

In addition to technical challenges, at-home learning also carries an array of stressors that can weigh on families. For perspective, Arizona 360 spoke with Tricia Haynes, who specializes in behavioral health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Guest Blogs


Common Sense Media – The latest version of Wide Open School supports distance learning and includes additional education and technology partners, enhanced Spanish-language materials, new curriculum options, more offline resources and a new Family & Teacher center that offers strategies to help children learn at home. Visit Wide Open School and:

  • Get free online and offline activities from trusted partners like Khan Academy, PBS, Sesame Workshop, and more.
  • Quickly find activities on different subjects for kids in preschool through grade 12.
  • Use our Daily Plan to easily organize your kid’s day.
  • Navigate distance learning with helpful videos and advice.
  • Read tips on supporting your family’s emotional and social well-being.

Do you have kids age 3 to 8? Get tips and activities, including Wide Open School resources, via text message. Just text “kids” to 21555.

Daily Schedule: It is important to create a daily schedule to keep you and your kids sane. Check out this site for sample templates to help you get started.

Family Guides: Seek Common Ground and the experts at Student Achievement Partners have created Family Guides to help parents, grandparents, caregivers, friends— anyone helping a child to learn in the 2020-21 school year— understand more about what children should know and be able to do by the end of each grade in literacy and math. Other academic subjects are important too, but math and literacy are the building blocks for everything else, so these guides focus just on those subjects.

LifeHacker: This mom has a great tip to help kids cope with the stress of virtual learning!

Lotus Training & Consulting: Is your child having difficulty learning? Learn about education 504 plans and how to advocate for your child to receive the support they need through an appropriate 504 plan. Whether you child is learning at home or in school, a 504 can be helpful. Lotus Training & Consulting has  created a free 504 guide that you can download, as well as a number of other useful resources.

New Ages and Stages: First Things First has revamped a developmental milestone tool making it easier for early childhood providers and educators to share with families they work with. The new Ages and Stages online tool can help families know if their child is meeting typical developmental milestones — the things most children can do by a certain age. How their child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves offers important clues. In addition, the online tool, which families can search by age group including infants, toddlers and preschoolers, offers activities that families can do with their child no matter their age to promote healthy development. This digital version, which is available in both English and Spanish, is adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program, which provided parents with a PDF checklist of developmental milestones.

#ParentStrong Guide to Distance Learning: Check out the new Resource Guide with more than 100 free, high quality resources, tools and activities in English and Spanish vetted by experts and brought to you from some of the most trusted names in education and parenting – PBS, Khan Academy, Common Sense Media, Univision, National PTA, GreatSchools, United Way, among many others.

PhotoMath: Another great tip from a parent, shared via Instagram.

parent tips and tools

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona: All Babies Cry is a FREE app that provides caregivers tools to cope with infant crying. Videos and messages show caregivers how to comfort infants and cope with the stress of crying. To download the app search for “All Babies Cry” in the App Store. Once the app is open, create an account. Put in the access code COVID19 (all capital letters) to use the app for free. All information can also be found at

SurpriseAZMom blog: Check out this blog from a local mom with tips and advice about doing preschool from home.