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Ask the Expert: How to Establish a Strong Routine for Remote Learning
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Ask the Expert: How to Establish a Strong Routine for Remote Learning

April 21, 2020

In partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the #3 Children’s Hospital in the country, First Student has turned to expert in behavioral psychology, Dr. Allison Blackburn, for some tips on how to help children as they navigate a new reality of social distancing and remote learning. In our new three-part “Ask the Expert” series, we will address 1) dealing with uncertainty, 2) establishing strong routines, and 3) stress and behavioral changes in your child.

With schools across the country deciding to remain closed for the rest of the school-year, reality is beginning to set that home-schooling is here to stay.

In the second installment of our three-part series, Dr. Allison Blackburn, a behavioral psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, discusses how parents and educators can collaborate to establish routines that help students learn and thrive while practicing social distancing.

A student does schoolwork on her laptop.

What are some ways to establish a good routine to help kids continue to learn and thrive while practicing social distancing? help students deal with uncertainty? Can you share your top tips?

DR. BLACKBURN: I highly recommend families watch the Cincinnati Fragile X Center’s short video about setting up new routines at home during this pandemic: My Child is Home…Now What?? Keeping a Routine. This video is presented by Dr. Rebecca Shaffer, child psychologist. Her advice is timeless for children of all developmental levels.

In addition, work collaboratively with your child’s education team to figure out what learning should look like at home. We recognize that homebound instruction is hard. Keep in mind that homebound instruction does not mean have to mean completing worksheets for 7 hours per day. There are so many home-based activities that facilitate “real-world learning,” like cooking, nature walks, exercise, play, crafting, etc. Work with your child to develop a new routine.

While some tasks “must” get done each day, your child can help decide on other fun, educational activities that can be added to the schedule too. There are even apps available to download for making visual schedules (Choice Works $4.99), as well as online resources.

Dr. Blackburn’s Suggested Resources:

Download our printable guide to coping with uncertainty to use at home.