Let's Talk About Education

Building a Home

February 3, 2021 - By Kirstin White - Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The start of a new semester is a perfect time to reflect on and review strategies for student success in hybrid learning. Whether your family has chosen to attend school online or on campus, one of the most important steps you can take is establishing consistent expectations and routines around school life.

At EARJ, we incorporate a daily asynchronous learning block into our hybrid model for Lower School students. This means that students complete learning activities outside of school, at their own pace, and with flexibility and choice.

This is a really important component of the full picture of planned learning. It helps students to develop key skills that complement classroom learning, whether in preparation, practice, or extension of their learning in the classroom.

Last week, our teachers reflected on feedback from parent and student surveys on asynchronous learning. We thought about how to balance screen time and technology-based learning with hands-on, interactive experiences that fit students’ interests and learning needs.  We considered solutions to support parents with asynchronous learning that take into account family needs.


Here are some simple but important principles that we hope will help families with asynchronous learning at home:

1. Establish an agreed upon regular home routine

It may seem obvious but it is so important. Agree on expectations with your child and create a routine at home for completing each day’s learning that works for both of you. Setting up a special workspace and organizing a schedule with breaks (and snacks!) each day will support your child to be successful.

2. Motivate through opportunities for problem-solving & creativity

Even our youngest students can develop problem-solving skills and independence, but they need help. The younger the child, the more you need to support them. If you show enthusiasm for the activity your child will love it!

3. Time together is priceless!

Asynchronous learning can be challenging, but it is also a real opportunity. It is a chance for parents to gain insights about how your child learns and what content is being covered.  This parent-child connection not only supports academics but also social-emotional well-being and overall success. We know that this is not always easy for working parents, but the benefits are amazing if you can find a time to do it.

4. Celebrate and praise

Children love feedback and praise – we all do! Try to showcase what your child does at home. When parents put their child’s drawings on the refrigerator door, or share photos of them doing school work at home on your family’s Facebook page, the message you are sending to your child is “We love that you’re learning!”.

5. Connect the dots

Kids can be incredibly perceptive. Ask them how what they are doing at home connects to what they are doing during synchronous lessons, be they online or on campus. When we connect the dots it helps us to reinforce our learning – and kids are awesome at this.

It has become increasingly clear that hybrid learning is here to stay… at least for a while.  We understand that for busy families this means continuing to navigate to the various demands of students learning part-time at home: parental commitment, English language support, managing multiple children, and keeping student motivation high (just to name a few!). We are committed to continuing to work together to support students by creating solid partnerships with families. We thank every EARJ parent for their participation and feedback and encourage families to continue to reach out to teachers to ensure a successful semester of hybrid learning.

Resources for Parents:

Blended Learning in the Mix: The Informed Parent

8 Tips to Help Children Enjoy Hybrid or Virtual Learning

8 Tips to Help Your Child Focus and Stay Engaged During Distance Learning

Kirstin White
Barra Lower School Principal

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