The role of parents in our unique model is not static; it’s an ever-evolving role that responds to the needs of students. We believe a parent’s role is not necessarily grade or age-specific, but that while the youngest learners certainly need parents as partners, there may be times when older students need a more supportive parent.
As life and school becomes more challenging, students may need more support along the way. These stages are not lock-step moves; they are recursive and fluid in nature.
We encourage you to consider your role with your child on satellite days. Knowing the current stage may help you think about how you might help your student develop greater independence and promote yourself to the next parent phase.
Parent as a Partner
In this role, parents sit right alongside their children, helping them interpret information and encouraging them as they complete assignments. Parents manage the entire satellite day. The role is one of a learning partner because the student is dependent on the parent. Parents in this role recognize their child needs them to be physically close, emotionally available, and academically supportive.
Parent as a Manager
A parent manager is one who oversees all operations on satellite days and may need to jump in and provide guidance or direction, but is beginning to see signs of budding independence in some areas of student learning. However, students still require oversight and observation. Parents in this role notice that students don’t need them sitting beside them anymore, but they still need to be in close proximity.
Parent as a Guide
The parent guide is one who can step back and check in periodically on student learning. The student is testing the waters and beginning to demonstrate independence while still needing the parent to provide guidance and wisdom. Parents in this role notice they can step away, and students can continue or finish tasks independently.
Parent as a Coach
In this role, the parent role shifts dramatically to one who is on the sidelines offering guidance and wisdom only as needed. The parent coach still keeps tabs on learning but only steps in when students get off course or could use adult wisdom. Students are demonstrating independence with minor lapses that require some short-term coaching. Parents in this role notice they aren’t needed for day-to-day satellite learning but know they may be needed for occasional bumps in the road.
Parent as a Supporter
A parent supporter is one whose role is that of encourager and cheerleader. Students are managing their satellite day work well, keeping up with their grades and extracurricular activities, and functioning independently, but they still need someone encouraging them along the way. Parents in this role may begin to feel nostalgic for the previous stages and may wish for time to slow down.