Whether you are facing the prospect of distance, hybrid, or in-person schooling, this academic year isn’t going to look like anything you as co-parents or your kids have previously seen. To help parents interact constructively among their children during a time of virtual learning, this week’s brief will address the ways in which effective co-parenting can lead your kids to academic success.
Expect the unexpected
Many school districts are being very transparent about how they’ll continue to reassess decisions made on how best to approach the school year, as the number of COVID-19 cases in their communities change and new information surfaces.
Finalize your parenting schedule and document it
If you forgot to factor a pandemic into your parenting schedule, you are not alone. Most divorce orders did not foresee COVID-19, leaving families all over the country without a clear way to approach necessary and urgent changes. If you feel as though you current parenting agreement may need revisions, talk to your co-parent first. If you struggle to come to an agreement with your co-parent are seeking legal advice, contact us for a consultation.
Set clear expectations for keeping each other informed
School is already complicated enough as it is, and there are even more moving parts with distance and hybrid learning. It is vital that parents have an organized, agreed-upon method for keeping each other informed and a way to hold each co-parent accountable. Here are some things parents might want to consider making centrally accessible to stay organized and aligned:
- Records of any equipment received from the school, such as laptops or tablets
- Individual education plan (IEP) documents updated for distance and hybrid learning
- School information packets regarding how they’ll transition back to in-person schooling
- Child login credentials for any online learning platforms, if applicable
Demonstrate engagement throughout the year
Keeping both parents involved in scheduling for the school year is vital to promote a smooth transition, but it is just as important to keep your child’s school connected to what is happening within your family life. Divorce or separation can be very hard on kids, creating issues in the classroom. Schedule a call with your child’s teacher, either together or separately, to let them know what is going on at home. Explaining the situation can help the teacher be more aware of your child’s emotional state. Most teachers will appreciate staying up to date about anything major affecting their students.
Keep the lines of communication open
To manage the stress and speed of the school year requires effective and productive communication. Whether it is about your child’s schedule, assignments, or performance in the classroom, there will be a lot to keep up with. Again, consider using a co-parenting tool to facilitate effective communication and alignment on all things school and child-related. Best-in-class solutions offer a myriad of helpful features including the ability to easily:
- Add daily updates that can later be compiled into detailed and organized reports
- Upload report cards, homework, and other important documents to a shared space
- Request and track one-time parenting schedule changes as well as document any longer-term parenting agreement updates
No matter how you and your co-parent decide to maintain communication and engagement with your child’s school year, keeping both of you involved is one of the most effective ways to ensure academic success. So be sure to get things figured out so you are ready to manage a new school year.