How Parents Can Support Teenagers with Remote Learning | MK College

How Parents Can Support Teenagers with Remote Learning

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The latest lockdown means a return to working from home for lots of us and remote learning for young people. This brings up many challenges some which are out of our control, like broadband speeds, technical issues and sharing the same space. However, here are some tips that focus on the things we can control when supporting teenagers with their remote learning.

Be kind

This includes being kind to yourself! You may have to go out to work and worry that you can’t keep track of whether your teenager is studying – this can even be a source of anxiety if you’re in the same house and having to focus on your own work or other responsibilities. Encouraging independent learning takes trust but is the key to removing ‘motivate teenager’ from your to do list.

You’ll have heard this many times since the start of the pandemic and that’s because it’s true – these are unprecedented times with huge changes to how we live, work and study. All of us are having to deal with the emotional and practical fallouts of these changes so we should try to be understanding of ourselves and our children when we feel anxious, demotivated or overwhelmed. Talking about your feelings with teenagers and encouraging them to do the same can help us all to feel supported, reassured and more positive.

Have a plan

It can be difficult for young people to get motivated to study without the structure of a timetable, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding exams as well as distractions such as social media or gaming. As parents, we are unable to enforce a schedule on young adults – getting their buy-in will help with their motivation and engagement in learning. These are also important skills to develop that will help your son or daughter in the future.

Agreeing start, finish and break times that are similar to their usual schedule will help with providing a structure. Deciding on achievable tasks at the start of each day as well as 15-20 minute breaks when they can message friends, have a snack or check social media also help with maintaining focus.

You could always share some agreed downtime with your daughter or son to have lunch together or go for a walk. This will help you to connect, relax and support each other.

Focus on the short-term

We don’t yet have an end-date for returning to school, college or work and this can make us feel helpless and apprehensive. There is also nervousness about the return itself and how we will feel about getting back to ‘normal’.

Focusing on short-term daily goals, such as completing 2-3 study topics or practicing a particular skill, can be more manageable and provide positive a boost with quick wins. Although planning what to have for lunch or what you’ll watch that evening aren’t educational goals, they can benefit students. Again, they help us to feel in control and motivated and this positively impacts our ability to learn.

Supporting students throughout these tough times is the responsibility of everyone who works in an education setting. Whether at school or college, students should know who to go to for help. If you’re unsure how to contact your child’s setting, check their website as this will have email and telephone details.

At Milton Keynes College we have different teams to support with learners’ academic or personal wellbeing – more information about the range of support we offer can be found here. Alternatively, email ineedsupport@mkcollege.ac.uk or call 01908 684444 and you will be directed to the best person to help.