With educational facilities across the country shifting to distance learning tactics in efforts to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, families everywhere are trying to adapt to the new way of educating their children. Between changing career dynamics as well as the social distancing and online learning switch for children, for many of us, our daily schedules have been thrown into a chaotic juggling routine. To ease the chaos and help your child keep up with their educational curriculum at home, here are a few tips for families to get the most out of the distance learning experience:
Organizing and Planning for Educational Curriculum at Home
If your child is having problems staying focused during the distance learning phase, it may help to do an evaluation of the learning space you have set up for them and make some adjustments. Since classrooms are set up to encourage focused and structured learning, the sudden switch to lessons in a non-structured environment at home can cause an issue with distractions and problems focusing.
To help your child concentrate and excel with home learning, they need a space that is designated for such activities. Organize a learning station for them that includes all of their needed supplies and materials and is located in a quiet area of the home that is free from distractions (or as much as possible). Have their supplies organized and in an easy to use location in their area so it is structured to promote learning just as their classroom is.
Scheduling Time for Distance Learning
Another element students get from their classrooms is a designated time and schedule for lessons. Learning from home can often lose the order provided by structured curriculum in the classroom. Providing a set schedule for your children to follow at home will help reinforce the new daily routine and promote learning during homeschooling exercises. Set aside specific times each day for your child to work on different areas of study and block out the time on a visible calendar for the entire family to see.
In addition to having designated time blocks for home learning, it’s also important to utilize your calendars to make note of any and all due dates for items. Help your child track certain assignments, themes, and upcoming activities by placing them on the calendar so you can help your child better manage their progress throughout the week.
Allow Time for Breaks and Refocusing
As much as you may want to push structure and routine to help your child focus, remember it’s also important to allow them time to take breaks as needed. Children take frequent breaks in the classroom in order to give them a chance to not only move around a bit, but to allow them the chance to refocus. If you notice your child is acting frustrated or having issues staying on task, it may be time for a break.
Plan for some simple activities that can help your child have a bit of a breather during their learning sessions at home. Let them take a quick break to run outside for 15 minutes or allow them a chance to change activities indoors (coloring, playing blocks, etc.) and consider it a small “recess” for them. The change will allow them to get a bit of a cognitive refresher before asking them to sit back down and finish their lesson. Above all, keep in mind that your children are experiencing a major change as well – practice as much patience with them as possible.