It isn’t always easy to transition to virtual learning. Without the guiding presence of a teacher, your kids might struggle to focus on their lessons or work through challenging assignments. You also have to find a new routine that balances education and home life. It’s a lot to handle, but it’s not impossible to figure out.
Read about these eight ways to have a pleasant distance learning experience this year so everyone has an easier transition. Even if your kids are weeks or months into their virtual school lessons, you can use these tips to work through the most challenging parts of your routine.
1. Dedicate a Learning Space
Listening to a grammar lesson in bed or on the couch used to be fun, but it isn’t great for long-term learning. Kids associate those places with relaxing and having fun, not focusing on their education.
It’s easier to switch into learning mode when your kids sit down in a dedicated study space every day. Set up their distance learning equipment at the dining room table or a small table in the living room. Invest in a desk for each of your kids if you have the budget. Every time they enter that space, they’ll focus on school because they don’t use the same area to nap or play with their friends.
2. Celebrate Educational Achievements
In a typical school setting, teachers award students for their successes. Straight A’s result in stickers, more recess time or a candy prize after a lesson. Children love this kind of encouragement because they get something tangible as a result of their hard work.
Encourage the same work ethic at home by celebrating together. Make a special dessert if they pass an upcoming test or give them extra recess time in the backyard if they memorize their weekly spelling lists. Personalize the rewards based on your child’s age and interests.
3. Join Social Media Groups
Parents sometimes feel stranded when they have to manage their child’s education at home. Connect with groups on social media so you have a community to back you up. See if parents from your child’s school have an online group where they post questions, thoughts or discuss upcoming challenges. You’ll learn from each other and feel more confident as your family continues their distance learning experience.
4. List Your Goals
Without a traditional school environment, it might feel like there’s no purpose to virtual classes. If it’s starting to feel like busywork, create personal learning goals to give everyone something to pursue.
Decide whether your child’s goals will be for a particular class, a semester or the entire school year. Talk with them about what they want to learn before the end of their current grade. Short-term, long-term and subject-area goals will give them the motivation and focus they need to excel in their virtual classes.
5. Schedule Regular Breaks
It’s tempting to push through online lessons when there’s no school structure mandating breaks between classes. Although it’s helpful to push through work if your student is behind, it hurts their mental health longterm.
Scheduled breaks improve cognition and well-being when they occur between lessons. Breaks should happen away from technology and include moderate exercise, like a casual walk or playing on a playground. During these breaks, your kids indulge in stress-relief activities so they’re more energized and focused when they return to online classes or lectures.
6. Provide Crucial Support
Parents managing distance learning might feel pressured to create lesson plans or become a full replacement for their child’s teacher, but that’s not necessary. Kids only need their parents to provide crucial emotional supportduring their virtual learning experience.
You can help your child by doing things such as:● Noticing when they become tired or frustrated● Giving positive reinforcement when they struggle● Asking how you can help support their social life with video chats
Sometimes children don’t know how to ask for help or verbalize how they struggle. It’s up to parents to keep an eye out for emotional and physical signs of exhaustion or irritation during this transitional period.
7. Identify and Fight Procrastination
Without the watchful, constant eye of their teacher, kids might slack off on studying or completing homework. Every day, commit to identify and fight procrastinationbefore it turns into a long-term habit.
Kids might procrastinate by starting school late, avoiding assignments or spending time on their phone. Keep an eye out for whatever holds your child back from learning and accomplishing their work. As they work with you on their bad habits, your kids will learn how to fight procrastination later in their lives when you’re not around. You’ll set them up for greater success during their college years and future career.
8. Organize School Supplies
Searching for extra pencil led or loose-leaf paper distracts students from their classes. Organize their school supplies so they waste less time. Label or color-code folders, invest in a filing cabinet or hang shelving so there’s a place for everything. Even labeling laptop chargers and assigning seats makes school easier for everyone.
Communicate With Their Teachers
Even though your teachers aren’t in the room when your children learn, they’re still part of having a pleasant distance learning experience. Communicate with them often through phone calls and emails so you can ask questions and get updates. When everyone works together and uses tips like these, virtual school becomes a normal part of life.
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