Sylvan Learning offers tips for parents during remote instruction

Missoula Sylan Learning Center.jpg
Posted at 7:27 AM, May 12, 2020

MISSOULA — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that kids learn all across Western Montana as most schools have decided to continue with remote learning for the remainder of the academic year.

Now, if you’re a parent turned educator right now, you know the struggles of remote learning and keeping your kids focused. MTN News stopped by the Sylvan Learning Center in Missoula for some tips to get parents and kids through the rest of the school year.

It’s been years since you’ve thought about physics or calculus, but if you have kids at home, chances are you’ve had to help with an assignment or two since moving to remote learning.

Missoula Sylvan Learning regional director Jessica Marengo offers some guidance during this time. She says first things first, take a deep breath.

“You're not alone. You're gonna have good days, you're gonna have challenging days, but just realize it's not forever. We only have a few weeks left in the school year,” Marengo said.

She explained that structure and goal setting are good first steps to successful learning, "they have a schedule at school, and they're used to that routine and that schedule, so you want to try to mirror that as best as you can."

“Every schedule is going to look different for every family, but you want to set out a plan of what they need to accomplish in a day, what they need to accomplish in the week, and how that's going to look every day," Marengo continued.

She also recommends beginning each day with movement, "don't try to start your day just thrown out of bed in your pajamas and get going, it's a little bit harder to stay focused."

“So, whether you walk around the block or do jumping jacks, whatever you can do to start your day with movement and get your body and your brain awake,” Marengo advised.

Next, coordinate your schedule so when you’re out of the house, your kids are working on assignments they can do independently. Marengo also says to make sure they have a distraction-free study space where they can focus.

“Then, set the more challenging assignments or assignments that they're going to need help with when you're available, that way you're setting them up for success throughout the day and not making them frustrated and overwhelmed by what they’re working on," said Marengo.

Kids also have breaks periodically at school, so in keeping some structure, you’ll want to give them breaks at home too. “Make sure your meals are part of your breaks, and you're going to have a much better result from your kiddos,” Marengo said.

Sylvan Learning offers up plenty of resources for parents and students who need help.

“ is an awesome free resource for families. It has educational tips and tricks for parents, it has videos, it has worksheets and it's all free. It's a great resource,” Marengo said.

Her last bit of advice is to encourage kids to be reading even when it’s not assigned, “it’s amazing how much extra reading and just everyday reading can make a big difference with your kid’s education.”

Whether a student is learning to read or prepping to take the ACT, Sylvan offers remote tutoring for all ages. You can get signed up here.

Here is the Rebound Rundown on tips for you and your student learning from home:

  • Structure and goal setting are step number one.
  • Coordinate your schedule to be home when students are working on challenging assignments.
  • Breaks are important and include snacks to help nourish the mind.
  • Visit for resources for parents and students.