As COVID-19 spreads across Canada, the country along with the entire world, is watching eateries, offices and school closures. While this step is evident and necessary, we have now thoroughly entered the digital age, where the entire education system has transferred online. While college students may be accustomed to this type of learning, school-going children are finding it challenging to adapt.
Since March 18, 2020, over 107 countries, including Canada, have announced school closures for the safety of their students and staff. This has a massive impact on the lives of roughly 862 million students across the globe.
The good thing is that though going to school has come to a halt, learning is still an ongoing process and has now shifted to online classrooms. Teachers have to ensure they conduct regular distance learning courses. Nonetheless, the responsibility of parental guidance has elevated more so than before. Though, parents will be working while their kid is learning and it may seem stressful at first. Certain steps can be taken to ease this transition and to ensure you and your kids can make the most of it.
How to Improve Distance Learning for Kids?
Though it may seem like it is, distance learning is not homeschooling. You do not have to teach your child everything from scratch. The teachers are present to do just that only in a virtual set up. Parents, if you are struggling with juggling work from home, along your child studying from home, then this article is a must-read for you.
Create an Effective Learning Space
Parents, just like you need your own space to work that is free of distractions; similarly, it is important to create one for your child as well. It is challenging to study in a space surrounded by toys, TV and blaring noises. Learning is best done with minimum distractions in a comfortable, quiet space. For this purpose, you can create a designated study room in the house where your child can take online classes and if possible try to sit in the same room, so you can help your kid stay productive and can be at ease while working.
Limit Distracted Learning
The fastest way to ensure your little one does not turn nocturnal and derail from their daily schedule is to maintain it. Make sure they stick to their everyday schedule. The major obstacle between distance learning versus face to face is that it is very easy to get distracted when learning remotely, given the accountability factor is low. Distractions in a learning environment can lower productivity and deviate from learning.
If you see your kid using other devices, watching TV or playing with their toys during online sessions, you should limit their usage till until after the class or after their schoolwork is complete. Another approach to take is to give your kid breaks during studying to play and use devices. Once the break is complete, be sure they continue studying.
Importance of Study Breaks
During the pandemic, most of us find ourselves scoff way more snacks than we would normally eat. However, this could mean excessive weight gain and unwanted health issues. Instead, try sticking to the usual schedule, especially one that your kid is accustomed to at school. This can easily be imitated by setting up alarms throughout the day, as is done at educational institutions.
During the lunch break, offer them meals, encourage your child to walk in the backyard, get some fresh air and get blood pumping throughout the body. Moreover, you can also offer your kids healthy snacks throughout the day such as fruit salads, smoothies, vegetable salads and nuts. This will curb their hunger and maintain their fuel for energy.
Distance Learning Schedule
We cannot stress enough on the importance of a schedule. Whether you have been working from home since before, or have recently started working this way, due to the pandemic. Both you and your kid can benefit from adhering to a schedule. After all, work can go way beyond office hours and it can disrupt your family life. Similarly, homework can extend into late hours at night and keep your kid awake.
Therefore, it is monumental to adopt a schedule that works best for you and your little one. You can set an example by sticking to a schedule and help your child prioritize tasks. This will help them meet deadlines and give a sense of accomplishment. A schedule allows your kid to have plenty of downtime, which keeps their mind refreshed.
Do Not Treat it as a Vacation
Staying at home can feel like a treat. Your kid can start acting irresponsible and interpret it as a vacation. Therefore, it is essential to remind your child time and time again to act responsible, turn in all assignments, appear for all tests and exams to ensure they are not lagging behind their classmates. If your kid is in high school and will soon be applying for college, ensure they prepare accordingly for any tests that may be required.
Communicate with Other Parents
The benefits of parent involvement in school means you are familiar with other parents. While we do not recommend you meeting other student’s parents in person during self-isolation, it is a good idea to stay in the loop over the phone. Staying in touch can help you navigate through online learning by listening to their experience. It may spark some new ideas, help you better handle the situation and give you a chance to shine and share some of the things that are working for you and your child.
Turn on Video Calling for Friends
As important as it is for you to socialize, similarly, your kid needs to interact with their friends too. Being cooped up at home throughout the day for an indefinite period can mess with even the most positive minds. Avoid your little one from getting in the rut of a boring schedule and burning out by setting up video calls with their friends. Though they may be connected on text, video chat has its own charm. If you have a toddler, you can set it up yourself by getting in touch with their parents.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun with Your Family
Make the most of the lock-down with your family by having game nights or movie nights over the weekend. During regular days you can get stuck between work commitments or your kids might prefer spending weekends out and about town. This time may not come again, so better to make the most of it by spending quality time with your family. You can play chess, educational games for kids, charades, cards and any other game of your choice. Go for a walk together as a family or stay at home, talk and reconnect with each other.