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My child finishes his virtual assignments really fast. I am worried he isn't doing or learning enough. I want to be patient with his teacher, but I also want him to get what he needs. How do I talk to the teacher about this without stressing her out? Also, what do I do with him after 12pm?

Nervous in New Orleans

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Meghan Stroh

Meghan Stroh is an award-winning high school science teacher, instructional coach, and school leader. When she’s not navigating for New Orleans families, she can be found getting crafty and sewing handmade quilts.

These are really reasonable concerns, and no doubt parents will experience challenges at both ends of the spectrum, from too much time spent on virtual learning to too little. Of course, it’s important to remember that teachers are still figuring out how to teach remotely (or hybrid-ly, as the case may be). So while your patience is certainly appreciated, your feedback is also helpful.

Here are a few things you can do:

Make sure you have a grip on the learning plan. What’s the schedule? What platform are they using and how do you log into it? How will the teacher be communicating with your child and you, and vice versa?

Compare your child's experience with the plan. Try taking notes on your kid’s day, if you can. Look for strengths as well as gaps, and try to be as specific as possible so you can report back in concrete terms: “My child was really engaged in this particular synchronous lesson” or “the time estimate for this offline assignment was 30 minutes, but my child completed it in only 5 minutes.”

When you connect with the teacher, try to be clear, concise, and collaborative. This is where those notes will come in handy. Aim for specific asks for support, like more stretch assignments if you feel your child is being under-challenged, supplemental practice in particular areas, or enrichment activities to extend existing lessons.

If you need to keep them busy for more hours of the day, keep it simple. Focus on reading, math, and your child's interests. Consider offering a couple choices for how your child spends that additional learning time. Our Camp Kinda activities are a good place to start, with adventures on all kinds of interesting (and wacky) topics.

“Try taking notes on your kid’s day, if you can. Look for strengths as well as gaps, and try to be as specific as possible so you can report back in concrete terms.”