With COVID-19 causing widespread school closures, children across the country are being asked to learn from home, often through online learning, assignments sent via email, or packets sent out by the school. And now, parents have suddenly been thrust into the role of managing the education of your children.
While parents are adjusting to this scenario, during this time, it’s also essential to help kids stay focused on learning and avoid the overuse of games, social media, and videos. It’s not easy to convert homes into classrooms. But there are a few things parents can do to get ready.
This article will give you some tips to help your children as they master remote learning. Remember, even a high-achieving, tech-savvy student may need some parental guidance while learning virtually.
1. Create a learning space
Our children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space devoted to learning. Create different seating options for your child using items you have at home. Ideally, this will be a different set-up than where they usually play games or watch television. Does your child already have a special place to do homework? It’s important to set up a quiet, clutter-free area if your child is learning full-time from home.
Why is it essential to clear away the clutter for learning time? Reducing clutter helps kids focus. A good learning space is a place that has no distractions at all! Video games, computer games, social media, TV, toys, pets — our homes have many distractions. Make a list of the things that distract your child. Then, take them away from the learning space during learning time.
On the other hand, make sure the learning space has any materials necessary to complete all assignments. Whether it’s pencil and paper, a stable WiFi connection, log-in information for all accounts, a PDF reader, or note-taking apps – whatever they need to get the work done.
2. Set a schedule and stick to it
With no set schedule, kids might never get around to schoolwork. Finding time for learning requires planning. Therefore, let’s take a look at your family’s schedule and figure out the best times for learning. Here are a few guiding questions to help you and your child come up with an agenda:
Does your child have a fixed schedule from her school for online learning?
Does your child need a lot of help from you to get started? If so, think about when you, another adult, or responsible sibling is available to provide support.
Are you building time into your child’s schedule for exercise? Going outside and taking brain breaks can help kids focus and get more done.
Does your family have any contracts to help kids follow the rules at home? For example, agreeing on watching TV or playing video games is important when kids are learning full-time at home. To encourage good behavior for the sake of doing the right thing, see our tips for creating an effective reward system to discipline your child.
Once you decide when your child will learn, identify that time as school time and stick with it. Parents can also think of giving each day a theme to create a schedule filled with fun and learning activities. You can steal some ideas from our previous article: 7 Awesome Staycation Ideas for Your Kids This Summer 2021.
3. Monitor your child’s monitor
Parents need to keep an eye on what their children are doing during class time. Remember how powerful your attention is. Focusing your attention on their learning efforts will help them stay deeply involved, and alternating more appealing with less appealing work will help them overcome frustration.
Parents can help by monitoring your children’s levels of interest and engagement in adapting to their new schedule and at-home materials. The simplest way to do this? Observation. Look at your child’s eyes to see if they’re following along with the screen. Check if they’re taking notes or zoning out. Ask questions at the end of a lesson. If you find that your child is not engaging with the lessons, don’t be afraid to contact the school teachers to explore the issue better. Sometimes, quickly remedied technical problems such as lousy audio, poor internet connection, or an unhelpful camera angle can make all the difference.
Schools are providing very different service levels right now, from virtual instruction to the delivery of worksheets. However, whether you want it or not, online education or learning at home requires family support. Some online schools go as far as calling parents “learning coaches.” To support your child, set up a direct line of communication with your child’s teachers. Use email, text, phone calls, or maybe even video conferencing to connect.
You may even want to set up a day and time each week to connect with the teacher. You can use this time to talk about challenges your child’s faces, review upcoming instruction, and understand expectations. Being proactive is essential if your child is struggling in school.
5. Save time for exercise
They say active kids learn better. Physical education has a direct impact on the child’s ability to learn and think. When we move and groove, our problem-solving, memory, and attention improve. Physical activity is a natural way to reduce stress and prevent anxiety. Experts say that when we move and get our heart rate up, it positively impacts how we think. That’s also the reason why, when designing our virtual classes, we always structure short breaks between sessions to make sure students have time to step away, eat a snack, and move their feet.
Look for family-friendly workouts you can do at home. Identify a time and place in your home for physical activity. The best time to exercise might be right before tackling schoolwork. It’s also good to take exercise breaks throughout the day.
Without a doubt, the shift to online learning has been challenging for all involved, including teachers, kids, and parents. But remember that you are not alone on this journey!
Having developed our online software and learning models since 2015, Everest Education has more experience with online learning than anyone else in Vietnam. And even when most Vietnamese families are still familiar with the traditional classroom experience, we strongly believe that online learning will be the future of modern education.
Everest online classes are not just temporary solutions for remote education like Google Classroom, Zoom, Skype, or other online classroom tools. With the technology, and more importantly, our dedicated teachers – we can cultivate that same community engagement with our online students as they do with our offline students. Students enjoy joining classes to learn, play games, and challenge themselves.
Through innovation, we make online learning fun for students and simple for parents.
This summer, Everest Education offers Virtual Summer Camp for the first time – in the theme of “SPACE EXPLORER SQUAD.” Students will learn using English, Mathematics, STEAM, scientific research, and project development skills on this starfaring journey. These will be the students’ first steps in their adventure to reveal the truth of the universe through diverse activities: hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math in a 100% all-English environment.
Using the ClassIn platform (top 50 global ed-tech by GSV), Everest’s STEAM Virtual Summer Camp will not like any other meeting platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, students can join live classes, group chats, play games, do quizzes and connect with like-minded friends using innovative learning tools. They can also do projects, make a presentation and receive a detailed report to learn their progress.