Parents at Richmond Secondary School, similar to famiies all over BC, Canada and most of the world, are adjusting to the idea of having their kids at home all the time. As you get started, here are a few things to keep in mind to set you and your kids up for success.
Managing expectations. While it may last for weeks and months, this is a temporary situation. The main emphasis should be on keeping your kids engaged with high-quality resources. This will not be a case of replicating everything that happens in school at home. Encourage and expect your teen to engage in structured learning activities and lessons for about three hours a day or 15 hours per week.
Set a schedule. Having a mix of online and offline activities is important each day—as is time for breaks. Routines can be comforting for everyone. Parents should communicate their own schedules to their family and if possible, trade times with another member of the household to check in on learning.
Create a consistent workspace. It may be hard to find separate spaces for everyone in the home to work. If possible, set up a location for each person to work or store materials or projects.
Model Empathy. This is a big change and a new experience for your kids, as well as for you. Students will miss their friends, their teachers and their Richmond High community. Help teens understand that it will take some time to adjust to new tools and ways of learning.
Make time for breaks and fun. Many of us are anxious as we manage this new reality, so take any opportunity to relax and laugh together. Your kids are going to remember this unique time together more than they will remember their math lessons. Make sure relationships come first.
Review teachers' plans. All of your teen's teachers connected with students between April 1 and April 3 to see how your kids were doing and to confirm digital contact. RHS teachers will communicate a 'continuity of learning' plan to each class by mid-April. If your teen(s) are self-directed, try to check in at the beginning and end of the day to see how they are doing. All RHS teachers are available via email, but please remember this is a new way to teaching for them as well. Click on teacher's names under ABOUT US - Our Staff for their email contact.
Managing online time. Support the transition to virtual learning and help students think critically about what they see online. Consider these special circumstances. Some of your family rules about screen time may need to be adjusted. However, a consistent time for screens off at night will help maintain good sleep habits for a healthier immune system - a good suggestion is that by a set time (e.g. 11pm), cell phones are no longer used in our family.
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Please read the "Strategies for Parents" document prepared by the Richmond School District attached below. This 2-page letter offers strategies for parents and guardians to support their families during these stressful circumstances. Attached below.