Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
To help parents learn how to best support their student while navigating remote learning, Unified School District 207 set up three webinars with “The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents” co-author Nancy Frey beginning Dec. 1.
The three one-hour webinars focus on three key areas — well-being, learning and struggle, and building independence.
“(The sessions) are not meant to teach the parents to be teachers because their role is to be parents, but how do I effectively facilitate this for my child,” said SuAnn Grant, USD 207 deputy superintendent. “I believe the authors (of The Distance Learning Playbooks) do a very nice job of talking about how important it is for parents to be the first key in their child’s learning. … I think it gives some helpful tips, some ideas and promotes some thought.
“The short-term goal (for the webinars) is to support that virtual distance learning setting this year while they’re here at Fort Leavenworth schools,” Grant said. “The long-term goal is that there are ideas, information, thought-provoking things that parents will take forward with them as their children continued to grow.”
During the Dec. 1 session, Frey spoke about the importance of the social-emotional well-being of children.
Frey mentioned three guiding principles to know when using distance learning — no one knows everything but together we know a lot; creating space for participation and contribution makes everyone feel valued; and be easy on people, but hard on ideas to allow people to make mistakes while applying rigorous analysis to our ideas and beliefs.
“We partner together,” Frey said. “We are those two stabilizing forces, you and the school.”
While distance learning eliminates socialization with students’ peers, Frey said participating in regular family activities such as board games or arts and crafts activities can help nurture children’s social skills.
Frey also said regulated rest and bedtime, screen time and other activities are things to consider when helping with a child’s social-emotional well-being.
The recording of the Dec. 1 session is available on the district website through Dec. 15.
The next session of the webinar, “Learning and Struggle,” is at 4:30 p.m. today. The final session, “Building Independence,” is at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8. To sign up for the webinars, visit the “Remote Learning” tab on the district website, usd207.org.
All webinars are recorded and will be available for viewing for two weeks after the live session.
For a complimentary copy of the accompanying book “The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents,” visit the board office anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.