We know that this is a stressful time for everyone, particularly our grade 7 to 9 families that are learning online. Here are some tips that may help you at home from the website Mindfuel:
1. Limit distractions and make sure the space is functional.
Removing distractions like other electronic devices and screens will go a long way in helping your child find success learning online. The space should be comfortable, well-lit and quiet to help your child concentrate.
2. Encourage regular breaks and stretching, and remember mental health is just as important as physical health.
It can be hard to stay focused when looking at a computer screen for a prolonged period of time, so make sure your child is taking frequent breaks throughout the day to rest their eyes and stretch their muscles. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused undue stress in all of our lives, so ensure your child is practicing healthy habits such as eating well and sticking to a regular bed time to help reduce this stress. Also, encourage your child to find healthy and positive ways to release their stress. This could look like taking time to play a game, diving into a new book, playing outside or finding other activities you can do together.
3. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher and class.
Though your child may be learning from home, it is still important to remember they are part of a class, with a teacher ready to support them as needed. Make a point of emailing your child’s teacher to ensure they’re staying on pace and encourage your child to schedule online study sessions with their friends to help keep their spirits up.
4. Allow for flexibility in your child’s learning schedule.
While they will still have set class times, the benefit of learning from home is that your child can take advantage of a flexible schedule when completing assignments. By allowing them to switch between topics and take them at their own pace, their odds of success will drastically increase. For example, they could focus better in the mornings, so that might be a good time to tackle the subjects they struggle with.
5. Setting goals and rewarding success goes a long way.
When it seems like isolation will never end, a good way to keep your child motivated is to find ways to reward them. Maybe they get some extra time on the computer if they complete their reading on time. Or they get to pick what the family will do together that evening since they did well on a quiz. Take the time to celebrate their successes, even the little ones, and you will notice a big difference in your child’s attitude towards school.
6. Find ways to do things together throughout the day.
If you’re also working from home, another benefit of distance learning is the increased quality time with your child. Plan to take your lunches together and check in with them on your coffee break. Your child will appreciate the company and it’s a good way to see how they are coping.
7. Take your child’s learning outside when possible.
While the delivery of their learning will be online when they are at home, you can find ways to supplement your student’s learning in the backyard or community in general. Maybe they’re learning about the lifecycle of a certain bug, so why not try to find one for yourself? If they are learning about shapes, see if any occur naturally in the area.
8. Incorporate regular classroom activities into your child’s day.
Children thrive on routine. Chances are there are regular activities your student’s teacher plans throughout the week. Maybe there’s a theme for certain days of the week, or a certain activity they do together such as reading a book chapter at the end of the day. You can ask your teacher if they have any recommendations to make your child’s at-home learning a little easier!