Things are a lot different now today than they were a year ago. One of the major changes in how we work, educate and learn resulted in almost everything moving online. Parents are no longer required to clock into an office building, having the freedom to work remotely. Meanwhile, some children are required to continue learning virtually. Though this is great for public safety, some parents are concerned about keeping their child motivated and encouraged to continue learning even though they are not face-to-face with teachers and their fellow students.
Luckily, there are things you can do at home that can help your child’s virtual learning. From cutting out distractions to providing a clean and quiet space to work. We have some of our tips that can help your child learn from home.
Make a Learning Space for Your Child
There may or may not be plenty of space in your home for your child to have a place to learn, but do your best to create space. You want to be sure that the space you create is free of clutter and is quiet of distractions. Your main goal is to do everything in your power to keep your child focused when they are doing classwork or homework. By creating a space for them to learn that is clean and free of things that can easily pull away their attention, you are setting your child up for success. Turn your kitchen table into a workspace. Keep the TV off.
Create a Consistent Schedule
Your child might not feel motivated to keep their regular school schedule since they do not have to get up on time to ride the school bus or to make it to their first class of the day before the school bell rings. Create some normalcy and help keep them accountable by creating a schedule and sticking to that schedule.
It is important that you find the best times for learning that work well for the entire family. Determine what your child needs. Are they the type to get started on their own or do they need extra help in that area? Do you have teens or pre-teens that are in middle or high school? Maybe the best times for them to learn is in late-mornings or early afternoons. It is also important that you carve out time for daily exercise. Knowing these things will help you and your child create the perfect schedule that works well for everyone.
Cut Out Distractions
Absolutely no, under any circumstances, should there be any distractions while your child is learning. This includes everything like TV, video games, computer games, social media, toys and pets. That is not to say that your child cannot engage in those things throughout the day, but there is a time and place. That time and place are not when they are learning. Take those things out of their vicinity so they are not even tempted to engage in those distractions. You can block those things from your child thanks to technology if you do not trust that they will have the willpower to turn away from those things themselves. You could even take it to the extreme and turn off the wifi after they have downloaded their assignments for the day.
Though it may seem like you are being a tyrant, this will help improve your child’s focus.
Create a Calendar System
With your child not relying on their teacher to remind them of deadlines and tests, create a calendar system so that you and your child can stay on top of their important dates. Create a calendar and place it in an area where it is easily accessible and they have to see it every day. This could be in the kitchen or living room. Mark the calendar with all your child’s deadlines and test dates, colour-coding it if you have to in order to keep things organised on the calendar. You could even take advantage of visual organisers that help break down large assignments into easy to digest steps.
It is crucial to your child’s health that you incorporate time for exercise in your child’s daily schedule. Not only will your child get their required daily exercise, but it is also a great way for them to relieve stress and thwart anxiety. Getting their limbs moving also helps to increase focus, problem-solving and retention.
You can turn this into a family affair by getting the whole family involved. Determine the best time for everyone in the household to get some exercise whether it be right before the day gets started or in other intervals throughout the day.
Take Advantage of Accessibility Features
There are plenty of accessibility features that you can utilize to improve your child’s virtual learning. You can tinker with the settings for reading aloud, text-to-speech and slowing down video playback. All of these features may not be available in some technologies your child may be using, but click in the settings and play around with it. Most devices have these accessibility settings built-in, ready to use.
Reach Out to Your Child’s Teacher
If you are finding that your child is having difficulty understanding a concept or subject, do not be afraid to reach out to your child’s teacher. You want to make sure that the communication lines between you and the teacher are always open. This is the best way to support your child during their online learning.
If you are not sure how to do an assignment or how to help your child on a particular assignment, do not be afraid to reach out to the teacher for clarification. By doing this you will know if your child needs an online private tutor or if they just need to go over directions three or four times before completing an assignment. You can even take it a step further and set time aside every week or every other week to discuss your child’s progress in their class.