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Before the Bell: Simple tips for parents to help kids with at-home learning

Dr. Stephen Waddell, of UNT, says two key things can help parents avoid stress.

As COVID-19 as thrown the world into chaos, many people’s lives have felt like a circus with parents performing as master jugglers.

With the pandemic still looming, parents are trying to handle working from home, raising kids, and now, as school resumes, many are playing the role of teacher.

How should parents handle it all?

“I think it really boils down to just like as if we were still going to school every day in the buildings,” said Dr. Stephen Waddell, a former teacher and superintendent, and currently a visiting professor for the University of North Texas College of Education.

Waddell says if parents are stressed about their kids learning from home, there are two important things they can do to take that worry away.

First, Dr. Waddell says kids should have a structured schedule, just like they do when they’re inside the school.

“Have some designated times that they will do their work,” he said. “Try to put some routine into what they do.”

In addition to making a structured schedule, Dr. Waddell says don’t be afraid to talk to teachers and other school officials.

“The more you communicate with the school, the more you work with your teacher, the better it’s going to be for you and your child,” he said. “I think teachers are glad when parents reach out to them and ask for assistance.”

Dr. Waddell believes a lot of problems can be solved, and avoided, by doing these two simple things: make a routine and keep open lines of communication.

“Do the things that you know how to do best,” he said. “You know how to be a good parent. Use your parenting skills to solve this problem."