Creating a Learner Mindset at Home: A Caregivers Guide to Remote Learning

“Parents are the first teachers!” 

Parents/guardians do not need to be told how to teach their own children, they do it every day. Caregivers are just wearing a new title these days, “classroom teacher.” As professionals in the field of education, we just want to embrace that partnership more than ever, to support everyone involved -- ourselves, the parents/guardians, and the students! Here are some tips on building effective relationships and establishing routines with families for remote learning! 

One thing we know about learning is the power of motivation and mindset. A student must feel empowered in order to take on new learning. The beginning of the year is a pivotal time in a child’s life … they are adjusting to a new grade level, new procedures, new classroom space, new teachers, possibly a new campus, new guidelines, and many other new things at once. Whether you are beginning the school year in a traditional classroom, full remote learning plan, or a hybrid model, we see this school year ushering in an unprecedented set of challenges and “newness” to embrace. Parents are feeling this “back to school” pressure now more than ever. How can we hold their hand a bit, but also provide information to help them take ownership of their own role as “classroom teacher?” How can we encourage a positive mindset for our remote learners?! And what considerations will set families up for success? Below are some of the things that you will want to incorporate into your plans for this year.

How to Communicate?! 

  • How do you intend to share communication with families? Will you send a weekly email? Will you share a monthly newsletter? Will you update your website homepage consistently? Will you have a tab built onto your class website for parents to share ongoing resources? 
  • Might you consider enrolling caregivers on a tool or app like Remind or Seesaw? There is not ONE way to communicate - but we hope you consider the families as you develop your “back to school” materials and homebase. 
  • Communicate your goals/philosophies/approach to remote learning upfront to be transparent and open with families from the beginning. Check out this sample that a 7th grade teacher shares as a tab on her website.

Boundaries for all! 

  • You might remind caregivers to check in during predetermined office hour time slots, share your practice for responding to email, clearly communicate a method to contact you that works for you, etc.

Mental health for all! 

  • Please be aware of your child’s mental health - you can advise a teacher or administrator if you have concerns, as there are people/resources available to support you and your child.
  • Please also be cautious of your teacher’s mental health -- he/she is doing their best during this unprecedented time and wants the best for your child.
  • Have you provided resources and information to support the whole child? 


  • Strategies - How can a family integrate the various schedules in the household? What organization do students and families need? Is the schedule posted for the whole family to see? 
  • Devices - Who needs what device in the house? Are passwords accessible? Are devices charged?
  • Take breaks - Are there physical and mental breaks built in? Get outside, or try out Go Noodle when you can’t get outside. 
  • Sample Schedules from Seesaw

Tips to prepare for the first week and beyond...

  • “School shopping” ... Can you still create that feeling of anticipation?! It might even be a new notebook or frame a little family mantra to put by the computer! 
  • Prepare the space … Are supplies readily available? Is there a relatively quiet space? Is there 
  • Prepare the learner … Set goals, write them down, create an action plan 
  • Break the ice .... Include a caregiver in initial meetings/virtual conferencing to break the ice and personalize learning

In this guide, we have pulled together helpful ideas, resources and mantras to help families set up for a successful year with their children. We recognize that this Guide could include a lot more - as questions and concerns will continue to develop throughout the year. Here are some of the ways you can use this guide: 

  • Share the entire slide deck/PDF with your families
  • Share a slide or two as needed
  • Make a copy and remix/revise to fit your own local needs
  • Post this to your Homebase (website, etc) to refer to regularly
  • Screencast an explanation of this guide for families
  • Print out a page or two that feels extra pertinent to include in a Back to School Kit delivery if you are dropping off supplies for students
  • Translate to other languages? 
  • Ask caregivers what they would want to see included in this guide. What is still needed?

Have more ideas? Leave comments below and we can add to the resources. 

Author: HyperDocs Admin 27-07-2020

Comments (2)

  • Generic placeholder image
    Can you provide access to the slide deck? That wo
    Can you provide access to the slide deck? That would be great!
    Author: Michelle Beddo 30-07-2020
  • Generic placeholder image
    Very insightful! I used to provide a weekly newsl
    Very insightful! I used to provide a weekly newsletter to my parents/guardians. I am thinking that the newsletter could be a hyperdoc :)
    Author: Rick Leib 05-08-2020