Tips for Parents to Help their Children with Online Learning
There have been many ways in which we have needed to change and adapt to new circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students of all ages around the world have had to make the transition to online learning during times in which attending physical school has not been possible. Parents can support their child, adolescent, or young adult make the most of remote learning while staying mentally and physically healthy. Here are some tips for parents and caregivers to help their child thrive in an online learning environment:
Create and stick to a schedule
This includes setting an alarm at the same time each morning and having your child ensure they have enough time to shower or wash up, eat breakfast, and prepare their materials before they need to log in for their first class.
For some children, it may be helpful to create a visual chart with a checklist of their daily responsibilities (ex. brush teeth, get dressed) and stick it on the wall as a reminder.
Ensuring sufficient materials are ready
This may mean having a stable internet connection, class books or files, writing materials, and any passwords required for the day. Having a bottle of water nearby is also a key component to ensure your child has easy access to whatever they will need during their learning time.
Setting up an optimal learning environment
Create a personalized space for your child that is quiet and free from distractions. Ask your child to help you customize the space to increase their sense of ownership. Some families may find numerous people in the same house working and studying remotely, so while it may not be feasible for your child to have a separate room dedicated to their learning, you can get creative and use room separators or crates to section off a space just for them.
Schedule in breaks for physical activity
Encourage your child to move around, walk or dance – even just for 5 minutes. Taking a physical activity break can help us reset our focus and renew our energy.
Help your child stay focused
If your child finds it challenging to stay focused, try to set up their environment in closer proximity to where you or another member of the family will be. Using a one-word cue, you can prompt your child to refocus on the task at hand when they seem distracted.
Give your child self-regulation strategies
Explaining the connection between our bodies and our minds to children can help them make decisions that regulate their emotions and physical states. If your child is feeling tired or bored, encourage them to do 10 jumping jacks to bring up their energy levels. If your child is feeling over-stimulated, suggest sitting down in a calm space and counting to ten while breathing deeply.
Give support rather than take over
Ask your child what topics or content they need help understanding. Explore these areas together rather than taking over their homework or tasks. Help your child reach out to teachers and ask for feedback or extra help. Have your child explain concepts they have learned to help them reinforce their own understanding of new topics.
Be patient and encourage having a growth mindset
Praise your child’s efforts, perseverance, and motivation rather than their grades or results. Be positive and encourage your child to focus on their own progress and personal growth. Teach your child to embrace their mistakes and view each one as a learning opportunity to continuously learn and improve.
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