Recently, we talked about how to get your kids interested in reading more and encouraging them to pick up a book rather than a mobile device. But, with so many children across the globe doing some type of remote or virtual learning this year, parents are facing more struggles than just getting kids to read.
Remote learning is a great option for keeping children safe during these uncertain times. But, it also comes with a variety of challenges.
One of the biggest struggles you might be facing is keeping your kids engaged throughout the school day at home. It’s much easier for them to get distracted at home than it is at school. That’s especially true when all of their work is being done in front of a computer, and without an actual teacher in a classroom.
So, what can you do to not only make the best of this remote learning situation but keep your kids engaged every day? Let’s cover a few tips.
Set Up the Right Environment
Your children should have a designated space within your home that is specifically meant for learning each day. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to dedicate an entire room to it. But, whether it’s the kitchen table, your office, or a spot in the living room, it needs to be made clear that a particular space is for learning.
When you have a designated space, you can remove as many distractions as possible. That includes shutting off the television or perhaps taking away mobile devices for a period of time throughout the day. When your child has their own organized space for learning, they are more likely to stay focused when they are there.
Children can be naturally fidgety. When they have to sit in front of a computer all day, not being able to move or be physically active can make it harder for them to pay attention and remain engaged.
So, encourage breaks wherever possible. Even five minutes of stretching or moving around can help them to regain focus. If you can, let them get outside as much as possible every day. Spending time in nature can help to alleviate stress and can even boost their immune system.
Develop a Daily Routine
If your child was attending school in person, they would probably have a standard routine to follow every day. They would need to wake up at the same time, get themselves ready for the day, have breakfast, etc. When they got home from school, they might fall into a routine of doing their homework, spending some time with family or friends, relaxing, having dinner, and getting ready for bed to do it all over again.
It’s important to adopt a similar routine when your children are learning at home. Kids thrive on routines. Though they may complain about them from time to time, rituals are necessary to keep them comfortable and help them to stay on track.
So, set an alarm for your child to wake up at the same time each day. Set up a morning routine that works best for them. Maybe they need a shower to fully ‘wake up’. Encourage them to eat breakfast, get dressed, and get ready for school – even if the school is in the living room!
Additionally, foster a nighttime routine that encourages them to get enough sleep. It can be tempting for your kids to think that school at home isn’t the same as school in a classroom. While the locations may be different, they will still function and fare better with a good night’s rest.
Make Learning More Hands-On
One of the reasons why it can be so difficult for kids to stay engaged in remote learning is due to the fact that it isn’t as hands-on as learning in person. Let’s face it, staring at a computer screen all day isn’t that exciting.
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So, do what you can to create more hands-on experiences throughout the day. Ask them discussion questions about what they’re learning to strike up a conversation. Set up experiments and projects that help to bring their subjects to life. When those subjects are right in front of them in a tangible way, children are more likely to understand them and stay more engaged.
Always Make Time for Reflection
There is no question that this year has been hard on everyone. That includes kids of all ages who are trying to adjust to a “new normal”.
Make a point to check in with your children periodically to get a better sense of how they are handling remote learning. Check-in more frequently if you feel like they’re struggling. For some children, their issues could be something as simple as vision problems that impact nearly 7% of children in the U.S. In that case, a visit to Eyeglasses.com to get them a new pair of glasses could be the solution.
In other cases, your child may be dealing with something more serious, like feelings of anxiety or depression. Both can impact their learning and their ability to stay engaged. Talking to them about the struggles they are facing is a great place to start.
Remember, everyone is dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now. While you, yourself, might feel as though the weight of the world is bringing you down, don’t assume your children aren’t facing the same issues. They have had to deal with isolation from friends for months, and now many of them are trying to navigate a new way of learning for the first time.
By using these tips and getting on board with remote learning, you can make it more engaging for your child, and help them to stay focused throughout the day. This whole situation won’t be forever, and there will come a day when your child can return to school with their friends. Let that light at the end of the tunnel keep you going through these strange times, and make sure to be there for your child in as many ways as possible.