For parents with school-aged children, this academic year is bringing with it numerous new considerations for ensuring their success. I’ve heard many parents asking a similar question: How can I meet my child’s unique academic needs while keeping him or her safe and engaged?
After 30 years of professional education experience and raising three boys of my own, I have a few tips on adapting to the situation and meeting children where they are – technology helps, too!
Let’s be as adaptable as our children.
As a result of the pandemic, the landscape has changed, and many children will not be attending in-personal school either because their schools have shut down or due to families making a personal decision to stay home. We are all dealing with change and lots of it. But you know what hasn’t changed? The resiliency and adaptability of children. My business, At Home Academy, has also had to pivot and is now offering services anytime, anywhere and with any type of social distancing that meets your family’s comfort level. This includes virtual, one-on-one, small groups, and we can even tether back and forth between these options. Children are absolute pros at adapting to fit the situation; let’s get creative and follow their lead.
Your child needs an accountability partner – and it doesn’t have to be you!
Keeping students accountable will be another challenge for parents and educators this school year. With hybrid schedules, distance learning and many new and returning home school students, it will take a village to work together to make sure no child slips through the cracks or gets left behind. To help alleviate this potential dilemma, At Home Academy is also offering Virtual Mentors for any age student in elementary, middle or high school. We will assign a personal mentor to check-in with your child 2-3 times a week. This relationship is designed to relieve worry and stress for parents navigating the new Canvas platform, as well as alleviate concerns about if your child is keeping up, completing assignments or falling behind. A mentor will follow them through the virtual process and alert parents if more assistance is needed. This allows parents to work, while also providing their children with accountability and being in the know when it comes to academic progress.
Successful learning starts with the right environment.
With a multitude of distractions, fighting for our children’s attention is harder than ever these days. Being in an environment that sets them up for success by minimizing distractions and providing accountability can be crucial. One of our newest offerings is the At Home Academy Study Hall and Café, a physical space where high school students can come on their virtual days to be in a safe, comfortable, “cafe-like” atmosphere to work on their virtual platforms. There will be a proctor on-site to facilitate learning and to answer questions regarding the virtual platform. AHA has installed a new, modern coffee bar with high-speed internet, along with plenty of plugs for electronics. We also offer free coffee, water and snacks to re-energize students as they break a mental sweat. The Café will be open every morning starting with the first required log-on day for schools. Registration is required, and spaces are limited due to social distancing requirements. This offering is intended for distance learners on their virtual days or for homeschool students looking for a different setting in which to complete their curriculum. Private tutors will be available upon request. By providing an environment that sets them up for success, students are much more likely to thrive.
Leverage the resources that are available to you.
No one expects parents to immediately know how to handle their child’s learning this year, and we will all need a little help. Consider At Home Academy an advocate to call upon or an extra tool in your toolbox. By taking advantage of any of our services, your student becomes a member and can use our space for study time when we are open, as well as receive tutoring on-call as needed. Tutoring can be done virtually or in-person (or a combination of both) for any subject or grade level. With our professional virtual studio, tutors can engage with Zoom in a cutting-edge setting or offer one-on-one and small group ACT classes. The technological quality of these sessions makes a big difference in the learning process.
Wherever your learning journey takes your family this year, remember that children are resilient and will adapt. We are all in this together.
Please keep At Home Academy in mind as a safe space, a guide and a resource, and know that we are taking both your child’s education and the current safety guidelines seriously. The students are ready to get back to work, and so are we!
Beth Logan Woods
4845 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71106