Resources for Parents

Supporting your student's distance learning

What you can do for your student

  1. In order to have a successful distance learning experience students need to establish same types of routine and schedule that students are normally used to in a traditional classroom experience. This may mean having students be less present from their home and familial obligations in order to be more dedicated towards their studies.
  2. It's important to help students create a learning space where they can be successful. Give your student the opportunity to have a dedicated space somewhere in the house that is free of distractions (i.e. television, heavy trafficked spaces, etc.)
  3. Research shows that students who receive emotional support from families tend to perform academically better compared to peers who felt they lacked this type of support from their families. You can do the following to help:
    • Have daily check-ins to see how your student is doing physically and emotionally.
    • Be supportive of student's academic decision making.
    • Have open communication.


Advice from a professor to parents

Your student is not home for break, and don't treat it as such. Your student is still carrying a full course load and class schedule. They may have a class scheduled during your normal family dinner time. They are not going to be able to supervise younger siblings all day. They may not be available to drop off groceries for Grandma. That's not to say they shouldn't help with things around the house. I will expect my college students to empty the dishwasher, help with the laundry, etc. But make sure that you are making requests when they are truly available and respect their schedule.

Realize they are under A LOT of stress. We are entering the most stressful time of the semester with finally projects, papers, and course material that is at its peak difficulty. We are asking them to navigate new online systems that they may not have used before. On top of that, they have been displaced from their normal routine, their social interactions, their campus resources, etc. Many of them (especially seniors) are grieving the loss of anticipated spring performances, sporting events, and campus activities that they have been working toward all semester/year. Some of them have lost the opportunity to say goodbye to senior friends.

Just a warning, college students have really weird working and sleep schedules. It is not uncommon for them to schedule a meeting with team members at 9 or 10 p.m. and prime study time for most is after dark. Let them do what works for them and remind them to shut the lights off when they finally do go to sleep.