Tips, Strategies and Educational Resources for Parents During Social Distancing

In 2019, about 56.6 million students were enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. In light of the current global COVID-19 pandemic, school districts across the country have made the difficult decision to close schools and transition to online instruction due to public health and safety concerns. Parents and carers were tasked with taking a more active role in promoting their child’s academic learning. Below are some educational tips, strategies, and resources for parents.

1. Ensure that the student participates in all required online activities, including class time and participation in additional online chats.

2. Discuss your child’s ongoing academic progress with teachers, including homework completion, projects, and exam results.

3. Parents are encouraged to complement their child’s learning with additional activities for academic enrichment, such as educational websites, home science projects, or fun educational games.

4. Parents should ensure they create a home learning environment that helps their child focus, including a quiet place away from distractions, routine homework and study times, and study materials including a computer/laptop, textbooks, etc.

5. For students receiving Exceptional Student Educational Services (ESE) who are under an IEP or 504 plan, they should contact the school counselor or school psychologist to determine if any necessary updates or meetings are needed before the end of the school year .

6. If your child has undergone a psychoeducational assessment to determine special needs, please contact the school staff for a status report and to see if the school psychologist may conduct tests over the summer.

7. If your child has not been able to start the evaluation before school closes, discuss with the school staff whether it is possible for your child to have a private psychoeducational evaluation if you are very concerned about the possible delay at the start of the next school year . Please note that a private psychoeducational evaluation may be at your expense and the school does not have to accept the results or recommendations. In addition, when submitted to the school, it becomes part of your child’s educational record. Please consider all of the above before spending hundreds of dollars on a private appraisal.

8. If you wish to conduct a private psychoeducational assessment, consider a less expensive alternative of having the assessment conducted at a nearby university that has a university hospital with graduate students who can take the test under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist.

9. Students completing their senior year and planning to attend college in the fall should contact their chosen college/university to determine if classes will begin on time as outlined above.

10. Graduates already admitted to college for 2020-2021 should track the status of their financial aid, including any awarded grant, scholarship, or disbursement of GI bills.

EDUCATIONAL SITES:

Abcmouse – subscription-based digital education program for children aged 2-8 years.

BrainPOP – Animated educational sites for kids

Discovery Education – standards-based digital curriculum resources for K-12 classrooms worldwide

Funbrain – online educational games for kids

Khan Academy – offers practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard for learning at your own pace

PhET Simulations – provides free fun interactive math and science simulations

Scholastic- provides books, reading and writing aids, and educational solutions for children

Scistarter – connects people to citizen science projects, scientists and resources

Starfall – Reading, phonics and math learning games and activities for preschool through 2nd graders

Tutor.com/military – The program provides online 24/7 on-demand academic support in more than 100 subjects for preschool through college students. Available now at no cost to any adult or child in a DoD civilian or active duty, National Guard, Reserve or Wounded Warrior military family.

GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS:

Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)-studentaid.gov

FastWeb – Online College Scholarship Search Provider

INFORMATION ARTICLE:

“20 Tips for Applying for a College Scholarship,” Felecia D. Sheffield, PhD, EzineArticles.com

“Minimizing Summer Learning Loss – 5 Tips for Parents”, Felecia D. Sheffield & Shameeka T. Meredith, ezinerarticles.com

Parent Center Hub, center for information and resources for parents – “All about the IEP”

Parent Center Hub, center for information and resources for parents – “Developing Your Child’s IEP”

US Department of Education, “A Guide to the Individualized Education Program”

Greatschools.org “A Parent’s Guide to Section 504 in Public Schools”

Additudemag.com “Is an IEP or 504 plan best for your child?

Copyright © 2020 Felecia D Sheffield. PhD, HSP All rights reserved worldwide in all media.

Thanks to Felecia Sheffield PhD

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