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Tips for keeping kids engaged during remote learning

Two education experts from the Public Education & Business Coalition offer insights on how parents, students and teachers can make the most of virtual learning.

DENVER — Making time to listen and play, getting a good night's sleep, building routines and getting exercise are among the tips two experts said parents should utilize to make the most of remote learning.

Michelle Morris Jones, senior director of professional development design, and Wendy Ward Hoffer, senior director of content development, at the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) offered the tips as parents, teachers and students navigate remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PEBC was founded in 1983 and offers professional development and coaching, teacher preparation and community outreach.

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Both Jones and Hoffer said successful distance learning is all about relationships, and emphasized that distance learning is temporary — family is forever. 

Below are their tips for making the most of remote learning.

Listen, play and move.

Making time for talking to kids, playing games or doing other at-home activities will go a long way toward helping kids make the most of their time.

Get a good night's sleep.

Ensuring both children and parents get a good's nights sleep will make the day go by more smoothly and make both more productive.

Take breaks.

When our kids get tired or discouraged, remind them to take a break, grab a snack and get some exercise. Then, encourage them to put forth their best effort as learners. Research shows grappling with challenges is important to the learning process, so parents need to support — but not remove — their struggles.

Create routines.

Build on family routines that are fun and emphasize learning. Play math games and discuss how math is used in real life. Talk about current events in age-appropriate ways. Consider launching a research project together about a topic of shared interest, try a science experiment, create a bar graph showing items of furniture in the house or write poems.

In response to the needs from the pandemic, PEBC created a self-paced online course for parents available in the “Learn with Us” section of its website. There is also a page of favorite resources that parents might explore to support learning at home; it includes a lot of free materials, museum experiences and more.

Educators can also view the blog or podcast, as well as join upcoming professional learning events.

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