Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Embrace the change – but you don’t have to go it alone.

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Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance learning was an unusual method of learning for the majority of school children until March of 2020 in many areas of the US. That date is only marginally earlier for other parts of the world. However, in the fall of 2020, it seems to be the number one method for learning around the world.

Teachers + students + parents = distance learning

Children, parents, and teachers were thrust into the remote teaching realm with little choice due to protective measures surrounding the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Teachers and students are learning to navigate these new systems, but parents often feel frustrated and confused.

Teachers and students may have already had access to some of these systems, so adapting them was more natural. Parents, on the other hand, may have had limited access or knowledge before. Becoming the parent of a fully online student overnight was difficult for even the most organized parent. However, there are things you can do to survive the new distance learning alternative. So we have a few distance learning tips to get you grounded and ready.

embrace the change of distance learning

Embrace the Change

One of the things that prevents adaptation is emotional resistance.

When people fear their ability, they often feel the material is more challenging to learn. You may have heard the adage, “Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are probably right.” This phrase is usually attributed to Henry Ford. It is right, though. The more you believe in yourself, the more you can do. If you think you can’t, you will find every reason in the world that it’s too hard. Embrace the change and know that you can survive.

it takes a village for distance learning

Enlist Your Village

Let’s face it. Everyone can’t afford to be a stay at home parent, even if another parent is working in the home. This reality may mean that you have to enlist the help of friends, family, and childcare centers.

Some childcare centers are offering help with students’ online work through Wi-Fi connections and homework helpers. Find the best way to work with your schedule and your child’s schedule. If grandma is retired, see if she’ll stay with the children during the day. If you have a friend or family member who is a stay-at-home parent, offer to pay them or provide everyone’s food each day to watch your child and help.

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Distance Learning Support Group for Parents

Are you feeling confused or out there on a distance learning island? OTL Guide Me at Home has tutoring for your children and one-on-one guidance for you. But you may appreciate being connected with other parents who are experiencing similar challenges. 

Head over to the OTL Guide Me at Home discussion page with online discussions for parents, and others for teachers, students, entrepreneurs, and anyone new to the wide wonderful world of computers, emails, and social media.

Think Outside the Box

You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and support groups.

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Be prepared

Plan and Schedule

Buy an old-fashioned paper planner and get to writing down dates.

One tip I recently read was to write events more than a few weeks out on a sticky note and place it on the date. Then if the event gets postponed or canceled, you can move it or toss it out. You can also write in pencil.

Several companies are making erasable pens that work with heat/friction. These are much cleaner than the erasable pens of 20 years ago. Consider these for writing in your planner too. This way, if something changes, you can just erase it.

TIP: Panda Planner has teamed up with Rocketbook to produce a one-of-a-kind planner. It incorporates tasks with personal goals. You can scan and send to your computer or phone and then erase the pages and start again. It’s awesome – one planner will last you for years!

Bottom Line – Distance Learning for Parents

There is no right or wrong way to cope with the changes that have come from distance learning. You can do this with the right tools and attitude. It will not be easy, but you can do it. 


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Going Old School with New School, Lifestyles, and Work-styles with OTL Guide Me at Home!

Where do YOU want to be guided?

Remote Learning for Everyone

Remote Learning for Everyone

Remote Learning for Everyone

“I am committed to learning, growing, and being the best I can be.”

Guide Me to Remote Learning for Everyone


Greetings! My name is Lu, and I wanted to share a few personal stories behind OTL Guide Me at Home. It’s the new remote learning community. So, you may be interested in how it came to be, what makes it different, and how it can benefit you.

Guide Me to Remote Learning Help for Entrepreneurs

The concept of OTL Guide Me at Home may seem timely with today’s new remote learning world. But it emerged over a year ago based on my personal experience as an entrepreneur and someone who has worked from home for years.

It started with community seat filler clubs

My family, friends, and I have been running seat filler membership clubs (OTL Seat Fillers) for seven years. Additionally, we launched the OTL City Guides as a free community resource for everyone with event calendars, directories, blog posts, and more.

However, I started working decades ago (I won’t say how many!), using computers primarily for data processing and text documents. So, switching to an online business had its challenges (and continues to!). While I now build our websites and manage blogs, I run into questions here and there that still stop me in my tracks.

What do I do when I run into a problem that I can’t immediately solve?

Well, up until now, here were the top remote learning choices :
  1. Sift through YouTube videos and websites to see if there’s an instructional video. = Time Consuming!
  2. Read through discussions and Q & A’s in search of similar issues. = Time Consuming!
  3. Hire someone on Fiverr to do the work for me. **  = Doesn’t Accomplish the “Learning” Aspect!


**Side note: I LOVE Fiverr and have hired countless independent contractors who have created logos and ads, and repaired some coding and plugin issues. So, I can’t say enough about the service. If you want to hire someone to do some work, Fiverr specialists are available for fantastic rates. However, Fiverr is for DOING the work, not teaching you how to do it.

What’s missing from the three remote learning options, though?

Someone to provide support. A teacher, tutor, or subject matter expert that immediately has an answer to a question, or a solution to a problem.


Going old school with remote learning


Every so often, it would be incredibly helpful and time-saving to have someone to turn to that will walk me through a solution to my problem.


I’d rather be guided than taking hours to figure it out…

For example, if my site is slow, I’d like to talk to someone who can ask the right questions and guide me (“guide me!”). What I don’t want is to have to engage in a lot of back and forth messages. It can take a while to get to the heart of the matter when you have to write out the issue and wait for responses. That method isn’t just remote learning, it’s impersonal and challenging remote learning.

For years I’ve been hoping to find a service that would let me get on the phone or live chat with someone who will stick with me until the problem is solved. It would be quicker and more comfortable. I’d rather speak in real-time, one on one with someone who can understand my problem right off the bat. But, aside from researching to find the answers, help for entrepreneurs has been primarily limited to support tickets or relatively expensive classes.

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Everyone could use a helping hand every now and then


Entrepreneurs & Home Office Workers

Help building a website, questions about WordPress plugins, social media, online advertising, SEO, software, more…


Remote learning or homeschooling

Tutoring for students or parents, Zoom training for teachers, virtual classrooms…


Basic computer skills for children, adults, and seniors

Set up a Facebook account, learn how to use video chat, Microsoft Office, email…

Guide Me to Help with Distance Learning

So, I’ve been looking for someone to answer my questions and not do the work for me.

Home “work” requires an at-home guide

Then, this year, the COVID-19 crisis hit, and distance learning is now on everyone’s radar. Teachers need to learn Zoom, set up virtual classrooms, and could use tips and tricks for keeping their students engaged from afar. Parents are frustrated because they have to take on a more significant role in keeping their children on track in a new environment. Because of this, they could use support, and maybe even tutoring, as well.

Tutoring and support for students

The students are challenged the most, though, as they’re heading from a classroom to a computer screen. Students from elementary school through college have to adapt to a whole new way of learning. They no longer have someone in the room to give them consistent one-on-one encouragement and help.

So, even though the questions and issues are different, distance learning is in the same realm as remote learning assistance for entrepreneurs. Therefore, we’ve designed Guide Me at Home to be used by teachers, parents, or students (or parents and students together).

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For Anyone Five to 105!

Guide Me to Basic Computer Help

My best friend is a teacher and a Mom, and one of the driving forces behind the distance learning aspect of Guide Me at Home. Additionally, though, my mother is also the inspiration for the overall concept.



Teaching Mom

Because even though my 77-year-old mother came out of retirement to work on the family membership club (OTL Seat Fillers), it was a long and slow process getting her up to speed. I had to start training her by explaining the difference between a website and an email. Let that sink in for a minute.

Three TV remotes don’t sit well with her either. Mom loves her Acorn TV but can’t seem to figure out how to access it, so we’ve had to resort to post-it notes on each controller. Even when she gets a brand new phone, there’s always something wrong with it (as opposed to the user – haha). But I digress…

Seniors appreciate patience

So, the third concept of OTL Guide Me at Home is to provide seniors or anyone new to primary computer skills to have a go-to for help.

For example, let’s say that you want to set up a Facebook page to keep in touch with family and have no clue where to start. You could get on the phone with a “guide.” He or she will walk you through the process step by step. You won’t feel frustrated, and you’ll have your Facebook page ready to go before you hang up the phone.

Now, if only “Guide Me at Home” was around when I had to explain the difference between a website and email to my Mom!

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About OTL

OTL Guide Me at Home is part of OTL City Guides and Seat Fillers. Our unique community seat filler concept has been around since 2014 in the US and London. We’re sidelined a bit by the pandemic. But, because of that, we’re evolving with the times, tweaking the premise of the club.


Guide Me to Helpful Information

The OTL City Guides are for everyone. They include public event calendars and directories for users in the United States and the United Kingdom. Our goal is to become a resource for a “better life” with things to do, ways to save, and tips and tricks. And, of course, there’s the unique seat filler club as well.

As an extension of the community resource concept, we’ve now got a new club, as well as a remote learning service, with OTL Guide Me at Home.


A “club” for teachers and subject matter experts

Guide Me at Home also has a membership premise, as our teachers are part of the “Guide Me” club. It sets them up to earn extra income by sharing their skills, time, and expertise. Users of the service, though, aren’t committed to anything long term.

Our goal with the seat fillers club is to assist the arts and entertainment communities with a free service and give our members incredible value each month for less than a movie ticket. A win-win!

Now, when it comes to remote learning with OTL Guide Me at Home, you have a new community that you can turn to whenever you want. Whether it’s for distance learning support, entrepreneur help, assistance with your new home office environment, or necessary computer skills, social media, online advertising, and more, you don’t have to sift through videos or manuals. It’s another win-win!

A virtual hand holder is so much better!


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Going Old School with New School, Lifestyles, and Work-styles with OTL Guide Me at Home!

Where do YOU want to be guided?