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The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents
How to Support Your Child's Academic, Social, and Emotional Development in Any Setting

Foreword by Former National Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling

Additional resources:

September 2020 | 160 pages | Corwin
We are in this together and will get through this together
Parent involvement has always been a vital part of any child’s education, but the pandemic and resulting remote instruction require that parents and educators partner at a deeper level.
Following the tremendous success of The Distance Learning Playbook, K-12, education authorities Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie have teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman to bring you the consummate guide to support your child's academic, social, and emotional development in any learning environment – while not overwhelming you in the process.
This essential guide will arm you with the tools and insight to
  • Create an environment conducive to learning, establish routines, and most importantly, take care of yourself and your child
  • Maximize the time you spend supporting learning by focusing on what is proven to work best in education
  • Help your child develop the cognitive attitudes and habits that foster creativity, critical thinking, and increased responsibility for their learning 
  • Support the development of your child’s social and emotional learning skills, including the ability to navigate social interactions, build friendships, and regulate emotions at a time when they have never been more important to have, and more challenging to maintain 
The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents outlines supportive strategies for navigating virtual environments to ensure effective and impactful learning that aligns the needs and expectations of teachers, parents, and students alike.

To purchase from an Authorized Corwin Distributor click here.
A Spanish translation of the Distance Learning Playbook for Parents, Aprendizaje a Distancia en Casa, Guia para Padres, can be purchased by contacting Irene Yepez at or online at

Letter From the Authors
How to Use This Book
Hold Up! Please Read This!
Distance, Remote, and Blended Learning
Establish Routines

Create a Learning Environment

Learn the Learning Management System

Follow Zoom Etiquette

Ensure That Your Children Sleep

Monitor Screen Time

Communicate With Teachers

Take Care of Yourself

2. THE VALUE OF . . .
The Value of Reading Volume

The Value of Reading Widely

The Value of Reading Aloud

The Value of Vocabulary Games

The Value of Oral Language Development

The Value of Foundational Reading Skills: Phonemic Awareness

The Value of Foundational Reading Skills: Alphabetics and Phonics

The Value of Foundational Reading Skills: Fluency

The Value of Writing Across the Day

The Value of Scaffolded Writing Experiences

The Value of Mathematics Across the Day

The Value of Supplemental Mathematics Instruction

The Value of Arts and Music

The Value of Guiding, Not Telling

The Value of Wait Time

The Value of Practice

Social Emotional Learning Is Not Just Soft Skills


The Power of Dignity

Separating Dignity From Respect

Putting Principles Into Action

Understanding Emotional Regulation

Emotional Granularity



Managing Conflicts

Friendships in COVID-19

Teasing: It’s Complicated


Communication With Other Parents

Pod Teaching: Learning Pods


Student Mindframe 1: Know your current level of understanding.

Student Mindframe 2: Know where you are going and have the confidence to take on the challenge.

Student Mindframe 3: Select tools to guide your learning.

Student Mindframe 4: Seek feedback and recognize that errors are opportunities to learn.

Student Mindframe 5: Monitor your progress and adjust your learning.

Student Mindframe 6: Recognize your learning and teach others.


Family Mindframe 1: I am an evaluator of my impact on my children’s learning.

Family Mindframe 2: I see the power of collaborating with others in parenting our children.

Family Mindframe 3: I value what my child brings to the family and world.

Family Mindframe 4: I understand the centrality of my child.

Family Mindframe 5: I have appropriately high expectations.

Family Mindframe 6: I listen, build trust, and know how to gradually release responsibility.

Family Mindframe 7: I know the balancing act between developing autonomy, relatedness, and competence.

Family Mindframe 8: I appreciate the power of feedback and the place for praise as well as errors.

Family Mindframe 9: I know how to work with the school.

Family Mindframe 10: I am a parent, not a schoolteacher.

About the Authors


"If you want to be a Jedi master of distance learning, read this book! It’s a guide for mental strength, practical know-how, and social-emotional support. This is the only pandemic parenting book you’ll need, and I’m telling all my parent friends about it." 

Rachel Simmons, author and Good Morning America parenting expert

"The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents is brilliant and timely. The tips in the book are fabulous—what every parent needs. Every educator should be recommending that parents get it."

Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting expert and author of "UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World"

"The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents isn’t just for parents. It’s for older siblings and all caregivers, too. Even teachers can gain knowledge from this book! It leads you down a path of understanding from the perspective of children and  teachers, and advises parents to be compassionate during this strange time of distance learning. Every parent across America should buy this book—it can help you make a step- by-step plan for your own household while your student is learning virtually."

Taylor Pittman, 17-year old student and big sister to a 6-year old brother
New Orleans, LA

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents is an amazing book. As a parent of a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old, I now feel equipped to handle the challenges that distance learning presents. This book gives me the tools to develop routines and strategies I can use to help my children in their distance learning process. I was feeling lost and stressed out about how I was going to handle the school year. Now I feel empowered, and I understand how I'm going to tackle the upcoming year.”

Farrah Lin

“In a time of uncertainty, parents need to feel encouraged and validated. This resource does exactly that. Families need to understand that distance learning is not going to damage our children’s education. Our children will succeed as long as parents, teachers, and students communicate and work together. We are not in this alone. We must remember to take care of ourselves so that we can be supportive and helpful to our children.”

Sylvia Porras

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ISBN: 9781071838709

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This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.