With COVID cases skyrocketing and classes regularly quarantining, is your school district soon looking to revisit virtual learning options? Perhaps you’re a concerned parent considering keeping your child home during this surge of cases.
Or maybe you’re just searching for alternate education options to benefit your kid.
Whatever your aim, virtual learning can work for your child. Try these seven tips to find success.
Establish a Learning Space
Best practice calls for setting up multiple workspaces for your child. Have a dedicated Zoom spot at the kitchen table. Create a cozy nook in the corner of a bedroom where your child can study or read for class. Ensure your kid has input on where these study spots are located and let them decorate to have ownership.
Additionally, guarantee your child works in these locations. When your kid regularly starts their days in their designated workspace, they’ll more easily transition into a mindset of learning. If possible, try not to have them work on their bed, so their bodies can more easily move to rest when it comes time to sleep.
Create Goals and Rules
Outside of the school framework, you might notice your child struggle to stay focused during the day. You can quickly remedy this by creating clear rules and goals for each day. Ensure you use exact words with your child and work together to develop the plans. For example, “during study time, I’ll stay in my reading zone with only two reminders.” Or “during Zoom lectures, my phone will remain turned off.” Write them down and put them in a visible place, so you can refer to them regularly and hold them accountable.
Rely on Routine
Set a learning routine to give your child the additional structure, making them more time-efficient. Children of all ages thrive on routine–a schedule in education is especially crucial as it helps kids engage in learning. For children outside of a traditional learning environment, a lack of a plan can be particularly difficult, causing kids not to feel motivated to get work done.
However, as a parent, you can provide this routine and help your kids thrive in virtual education. Draw a big schedule for younger children to follow. For older children, buy a planner and show them how to plot out their day and what assignments they have to complete.
Use Supplemental Resources
Try to supplement your child’s learning with exciting resources from the internet. Most natural history or art museums allow virtual tours–you can see dinosaur bones, exhibits of planetariums, and painting from around the world. Consider going on field trips if your schedule allows or taking the entire family on the weekend.
If you have a child with a disability, try attending one of the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA) webinars and utilize their family resources. The inclusive organization aids the educational needs of students with disabilities.
Follow Their Interests
To help motivate your child throughout the day, seek their input. Ask them what subject they’d like to tackle first. Is it the one that challenges them most, or is it the one that’s the easiest? If your child has specific interests like cooking, gaming or space, consider using these activities in learning. It can spark motivation within your child to complete projects or research. Contact your child’s teacher if you have specific questions about using your child’s interests in education.
Additionally, consider utilizing your child’s interests as motivation to complete their classwork. Having non-screentime rewards to incentivize your child to work can serve as a helpful boost to your child’s inspiration.
Praise Your Child
To make your child feel supported, give them specific praise for their work. Detailed feedback will help your kid know you’ve observed their hardworking efforts. Tell them how you’ve seen them meet their daily goals and that you’re proud of them. If your child has room to develop or change, try presenting a growth mindset. Explain to your child–this perspective is all about learning from feedback and developing from challenges.
Likely there will be times when you need help. Know it’s okay to ask for it when the time comes. Communicate with your teacher if you have any questions about classroom assignments or deadlines. Try to start with positive observations, keeping in mind leadership is doing its best to meet student needs.
Suppose you need a break from organizing your kid’s day or holding them accountable to classroom lessons, request backup from your larger support network. See if grandma or grandpa is available to help one day a week, or maybe Uncle Ted can help with homework in the evenings while you make dinner for the family. Being the sole caretaker for your child and supporting them while learning can be challenging. Ask for support from your larger network to help carry the burden of responsibility.
Support Your Virtual Learner
When you follow these seven tips, your child will feel supported to learn virtually. Get to work preparing your child’s learning space today!