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 email@example.com.
Last updated 12/11/2020
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.
- My typical day – teaching during COVID
Lynette Stant. a 3rd grade teacher at Salt River Elementary School, shares details about what her typical day looks like while teaching virtually during a pandemic, along with a her top tips for families.
- Tips for Helping Your Child Navigate (and Survive) Virtual Learning
This article by Regan Olsson shares tips and advice for parents from Dr. Adeola Adelayo, a practicing psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital.
- School Counselor of the Year: What Families Can Do To Thrive This Year
The Arizona 2020 School Counselor of the Year and mom of three shares her top five tips for distance learning this year in this recent guest blog post.
- Parents, here’s how to make online learning easier for you and teachers, alike
Guillermina Torres works in the Mexican American Student Services department at Tucson Unified School District and shares her advice for families coping with virtual school in this blog post.
- A Teenager’s Advice for Parents and Teachers on How to Make Learning at Home Fun for Students
This 15-year-old Scottsdale resident shares her advice for teachers and parents on making virtual learning both fun, structured, and interesting for students. She also compiled a list of contests and competitions that students can enter and win cash prizes, recognition from major publications and other amazing opportunities to keep your child motivated during distance learning.
- Distance Learning Advice from a Veteran Educator
Christine Roche, M. Ed., NBCT, a highly qualified special education teacher in the Amphitheater Public Schools, shares her parent tips for virtual learning.
- Just Another Day by Tim Ramsey
An educator for more than three decades shares about his daily experiences teaching 7th grade writing virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He gave Expect More Arizona permission to publish a few of his journal entries from this year, including this one.
- Tips on Self-care During the Pandemic by Arizona GEAR UP
COVID-19 has shifted the way people go about their daily lives. From home life to work life, everyone adjusted routines. While it’s natural to feel stressed and anxious in challenging times, mental health experts recommend acknowledging and accepting these feelings as they arise. Understanding and taking care of your mental health will help with your long-term health, both mentally and physically.
- Six ways to make the most of National Family Literacy Month
Despite all that is going on with the pandemic in 2020, families should prioritize literacy. Providing children with a deep love of reading is one of the skills that will ensure they are set up for success. Take time over the holiday season to set good reading habits with your kids. It might seem impossible, but there are so many small ways you can make it happen from the comfort of your own home.
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.
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 AllBabiesCry.com.
SurpriseAZMom blog: Check out this blog from a local mom with tips and advice about doing preschool from home.