An insightful feature on parenting appeared in the Sept. 24 edition of The Washington Post under the title, “Should a first-grader be able to recall directions from online school?”

The reporter responded to a question posed by a parent whose son, a 6-year-old first-grader, seems to be struggling with remembering his teacher’s instructions in the first few weeks of virtual school.

Like most children of the same age, the parent’s son has little patience for sitting at a computer for long periods of time. They may be able to respond with complete sentences and even express their feelings but they’re still years away from maturity. So, while adults may be able to review their work, to consider other options or improvements before submitting their final product, youngsters, after deciding that they’ve completed their given task, simply want to move on.

Perhaps parents are finally seeing the challenges that elementary school teachers routinely face – providing a thoughtful and interesting curriculum while making learning fun.

Young children, particularly boys, have an instinctive desire to play and move their bodies. They’re also easily distracted. So, with the school year just beginning, parents may want to find creative ways – joyful ways – to help their early learners navigate this strange new world.

Maybe your child’s teacher can provide some suggestions. Meanwhile, parents may find it beneficial to make learning a process that continues throughout the day. When it’s dinner time, help your child count the number of utensils or food items on the table. Ask them about something funny that occurred during the day and then help them write a few sentences about it.

Above all, let your child adjust to today’s virtual environment at their own pace.

After all, many adults are still trying to force a square peg in a round hole. That is, we want to act as if we can somehow transport ourselves into the past instead of making the adjustments to what isbecoming the new normal.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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