How to Help Your Kids with Distance Learning This Year
Have your schools decided to go online this fall? Here are some great ways to help your kids with distance learning this year!
Schools all over the country are determining the best way forward, the safest way to return to learning this school year. Educators are getting creative as they work to engage their students and we, the parents, are partnering with teachers to help kids navigate a brand new world.
With this new normal, come new challenges. As moms, we have lots of questions. How can we help our kids learn to navigate a digital learning experience? What do you do to encourage them when they’re tired of sitting at the computer? How can we keep them focused on learning when they feel isolated? How do we keep them engaged? Exactly how much screentime should our kids have each day?
In this article, I’d like to share some tips for supporting your child’s virtual learning experience. Keep reading for some practical distance learning solutions to keep your child focused on learning this school year.
Why is online learning so difficult for young children?
Teachers all over the nation came together this Spring, many with the same question: Why aren’t kids logging on for virtual learning? There are of course lots of reasons this is happening. One reason kids aren’t signing on for distance learning is a feeling of invisibility.
Young children tend to learn best in a face to face environment. Many elementary school learners are struggling to build connections with their teachers, a problem that might grow this Fall. It’s easy to feel invisible in an online classroom. Thankfully, this is an area where parents can step in and bridge the gap. Keep reading to find out how.
How do I prepare my child for distance learning?
First, to teach young children successfully online, we must rethink our definition of “engaged.” We must come to realize that learning happens everywhere, not just inside a classroom. Then, we must begin to free ourselves from the desire to replicate the public school classroom at home. We can’t recreate the environment, but we can encourage learning at home.
Begin by preparing your children for this new school year. Talk about how it will be different. Having open and frank conversations together can help your elementary students prepare for the new school year.
What about distractions?
You don’t need to recreate the classroom at home. However, having an environment that’s conducive to learning will help your child succeed while learning online this school year. Here are some helpful tips for minimizing distractions in your learning space:
Do your best to ensure the area where your child will be learning is free from unnecessary visual distractions. Distance learning in the playroom or a high traffic area of your home probably won’t go very well.
Provide good lighting
Having a well-lit area to learn and study will help your child do his best work.
Make it comfortable
You want your child to be reasonably comfortable while learning. Provide a space where she can sit comfortably and focus on learning. School on the porch when it’s hot or completing assignments while standing at the kitchen counter might not be the best option. Alternatively, avoid too much comfort. Distance learning on the bed where your child sleeps might lead to more napping than reading.
Choose a quiet place
It is difficult for anyone to focus with lots of distracting noises around. Children can have an especially hard time tuning out excess noise, so you might want to avoid having the TV on, phone calls, or playing music during lessons.
How do I keep my kids focused?
Keep a Schedule
Remember that having a schedule helps children know what to expect. After all, kids thrive on routine. It’s ok to be flexible when necessary too, but set up a loose routine for your school day.
Connect LEarning to real life
Find ways to connect what your children are learning with their lives. Seeing these similarities can help keep kids engaged in the lesson.
Encourage kids to get up and move around often. When kids take movement breaks, the increased blood flow in the body helps the brain. Movement breaks make it easier for kids to pay attention, remember what they’re learning, and process information.
Gather Your Supplies
Make sure your child has all the materials needed to complete lessons. A missing ruler can derail a virtual math class very quickly.
Check Their Work
Focus on helping your child understand the material and lessons provided by the teacher. Then, check to be sure they have completed the required assignments.
Rewards for Progress
Motivate them by offering rewards for progress. In this way, you can encourage your children to keep going and help them to see the value of working diligently, even when they might not feel like it.
Get to Know Your Kid’s Teacher
To support your child this school year, consider communicating early with your child’s teachers. Use email, text, phone calls, or even Zoom to connect with educators. Reach out to them at a specified weekly day and time. It’s a great way to discuss challenges, talk about upcoming lessons, and learn what your child’s teacher expects this year. In the end, we are all navigating new territory. However, we can work together to help our kids stay engaged while learning online this year.
Check out these Back to School resources too!
- How to get your kids excited about school
- How kids can build community during times of isolation
- Set up a great homework command center!
- Tips for how to use your public library to help your kids in school
- Easy ways to get more involved at school this year
- Get to Know Your Child’s teacher with these simple tips