If they haven’t started already, your children are probably getting ready to go back to school. Of course, “going back” can mean different things these days. Depending on your state, city, and/or school district, your child is either going back to school in-person full-time (with a mask, of course), part-time onsite/part-time online learning, or full-time online learning.
Whatever your situation may be, you need to be prepared to have your kid spend at least some time at school online at home. Even while they’re at home, you want to make sure that your child is in the proper mindset to learn.
There are a few things that parents can do to help their kids get there, including:
-Setting up a dedicated study area
-Creating a daily schedule
-Having them dress like they’re going to school
-Making sure your connections and computer are working well
-Help with schoolwork
Create a Dedicated Space
Your home is not a school, and so is probably not ideally set-up to remove all non-school-related distractions. To help your child focus as much as possible, it would help to set up a formal study area. It doesn’t have to be a whole room, just a relatively quiet corner of a bedroom or living room, set up with all the tools your child needs to listen clearly, take notes, do homework, etc.
Structure the Day
Much like a dedicated space can provide focus, so too can setting a schedule. During school hours, a child should be studying and learning. Working around the teacher’s online schedule, of course, the rest of your child’s structure can come from you: an hour for lunch, a short break every hour or so to stretch the legs and go to the bathroom, etc. No TV or video games or going on non-educational websites until after homework is done.
Dress for Success
Part of the fun of back-to-school time is getting to show off new school clothes. This is something your child can still do, even in a virtual environment. Not to mention the fact that, in the act of taking a shower and getting dressed each morning, you child can mentally prepare themselves for the schoolwork to come. Sure, pajamas may be comfortable, but they encourage naps more than learning.
Check Your Connection and Computer
Some interruptions at home may be inevitable. But you can help to minimize them by at least making sure your computer and internet connection are properly set up to work smoothly with the latest video chat technology. You shouldn’t need expensive routers, the highest speed of internet available, or brand-new equipment in order to ensure smooth video chatting. But you should make sure that everything is installed properly and working with the latest software and security updates.
Help with Lessons as Much as You Can
You may not be a teacher by trade. As such, you should not expect to be the one actually educating your child. However, much as you probably did before, you can still help when he or she has difficulty with certain concepts. If you can, help with that tricky math problem or difficult reading assignment. And if you find your expertise lacking, you can always reach out to your child’s teacher to discuss how to address the difficulties they’re having. You could also find online tutors and other resources that can help keep your kid from falling behind.
There’s no question that now is a difficult time for kids, teachers, and parents. It’s hard figuring out the best way to make sure that children get their education without compromising their and others’ safety. All we can do is the best we can. With the above tips, parents can do their part to try and keep the learning going.
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