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Help Your Kids Excel in Online Learning
All over the world, millions of students have had to shift from a physical classroom to an online classroom. And while many teachers have gotten quick crash courses on how to teach online- parents play a huge role in making sure their kids are retaining that information.
Are you struggling to balance your day with managing working and helping your child complete their school work?
Try these to make your life a little easier:
Plan and Prepare
Whether or not your school sent your child home with devices and materials for completing their assignments, you’ll need to provide plenty of structure and a boatload of motivation. Now, don’t fret. There isn’t a need to attempt to recreate the “school classroom” culture at home. Unless you want to of course. So, no need to worry. The focus is to find a rhythm that works for YOUR family!
Consider these things to get yourself in order and structure your day in the most effective way possible:
Schedule your days
Stick to your usual routines as much as possible, including bedtimes and mealtimes. This is the only time where we’ll stick as close to your child’s school schedule as possible. It’s important to rise at the same time every day and let your child know you expect them to log in on time for classes each morning. Then, you’ll eat at the same time your child eats at school. And your kiddos can have a “break” for things like tv, bath, playtime, etc. when they are all done with their work. Ideally, everyone should go to bed at normal times.
Arrange your space
Designate an area just for school. It may be a room or a section of the dining room table as long as it’s quiet and comfortable. Stock up on supplies like notebooks, pens, and calculators. No need to get fancy or create a classroom feel as I said before unless that’s what you want!
Ban games and movies during class time. Keep in mind that some children may learn better with a little background music too. There are many apps available on apple, windows, android, and iOS products that can limit/control the amount of time spent in apps. For background music, we love brain.fm. This site and app offers a trial to test it out. There’s also always youtube where you can type in and search specifically for “focus music” or “binaural beats.”
Breaks and lunch hours are essential! Serve healthy food and provide lots of fun options for physical exercise. Frequent breaks may be helpful if your child is more on the antsy side.
How can your child maintain their friendships? Use technology for group study sessions, video chats, and virtual playdates. You can use free services such as zoom, google meet, jitsi, and many others to connect with family and friends online.
Contact your school
Ask school officials and teachers about the most effective way to communicate with them and stay in touch regularly. Find out what resources are available for collaborating with other parents.
Basic Study Skills
Teach your child to learn effectively. Strong study skills will be a valuable asset online, offline, and in their future careers.
Strengthen study skills with these techniques:
Give practice tests
Many studies show that testing yourself is one of the most productive ways to learn. Design questions together. Treat quizzes like a game to reduce anxiety if your child gets nervous with the thought of testing.
Prepare for tests by going over past material on a regular basis. Your child is more likely to forget their lessons if they cram at the last minute.
Identify key facts and major themes. Building a framework increases reading comprehension and strengthens writing skills. This will encourage critical thinking! We always need more of that.
Proofread and edit
Review your child’s completed assignments before they’re submitted. Make revisions together until they’re comfortable doing it on their own. But, always double-check just in case.
Evaluate your progress
Give your child constructive feedback. Discuss teacher comments and test results. Ask your child to describe their strengths and weaknesses. Set specific goals like reading a certain number of pages each day or looking up unfamiliar vocabulary words.
Take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with your child. Create happy memories and nurture their personal interests.
Consider these ideas:
Browse for resources
Even if field trips are on hold, there are vast collections online for any subject your child loves. Delve deeper into dinosaurs or sports nutrition.
At the same time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by your choices. Start out with a few reliable sources or ask your child’s teacher for recommendations. For example, you might want to explore the PBS Parents Play and Learn App for younger kids and Great Courses for their older siblings.
Make learning a fun activity that draws you closer together. Reward your child’s efforts with prizes like stickers or baking their favorite dessert. Hang their artwork on your refrigerator door and applaud when they read you their book reports.
While circumstances may change, the importance of education remains the same. Help your child to gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to have a positive impact on the world.
Be patient with yourself, and stay connected as you make the transition to online learning!