Helping Students Manage Their Time With Distance Learning

Interest in homeschooling peaks as the pandemic disrupts education nationwide
Photo credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Distance learning has blurred the line between classwork and homework.

“When you’re doing that synchronous time with teacher, that’s more like in-class. And then when you have the opportunity to work independently, some places are calling that homework. It’s certainly work at home,” said Carol Ann Gittens, Dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary's College. “So how are we balancing that?”

Dr. Gittens says it can be difficult for younger children particularly to balance homework and independent study time.

“Those are the kind of techniques that I know teachers use in the classroom, and now we need to translate at home,” she said on KCBS Radio’s “Ask An Expert” segment Tuesday.

Parents will need to work with their children to help them develop proper time management skills.

“Create some time, if not daily, but every two days to sit down their child,” she said, to review all of the child’s assignments. “And really start to try and help them think about how to set a schedule for themselves, a list of what needs to be done sooner.”

Dr. Gittens says teachers will often give cues to students about how much time assignments will take and the order in which to do them, and students will need to learn to understand and follow these instructions as well.

Properly prioritizing assignments, understanding how to break up tasks and assess how much time each assignment will take is a key skill both for managing distance learning and in life.