With homeschooling suddenly becoming the new norm for families across the globe, many parents have been struggling to find innovative ways to not only balance the new scheduling dynamics of their household, but also maintain the focus and educational growth rates of their children. Taking away the structured learning environment of the traditional classroom can quickly lead to an issue with focus and motivation for kids – not to mention a major stressor for parents. So, how do you find ways to keep your children focused during home learning sessions?
Keeping Kids Focused During Home Learning Sessions
If you find yourself ready to throw in the towel with household distractions and a lack of focus during home learning lessons, rest assured, you’re not alone. Millions of families are finding themselves faced with similar challenges and are searching for creative ways to make the best of the situation and ensure their children are getting the most out of their educational time at home. Perhaps the silver lining in all of this is that our current situation has occurred in a time with amazing technological advancements that make it possible to not only learn from home during social distancing, but also to easily research and share ideas and innovations with one another with the click of a button.
Before you go Googling ways to keep your child fully engaged during home lesson plans, however, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, it’s important to know your child’s abilities, limits, and potential triggers. Knowing this will help make planning a learning session much more successful, so your first step should be to take note of what you know of your child’s learning strengths and obstacles.
Tips for Parents Struggling with Home Educational Plans
In order to lay out the best game plan for home schooling, take a look at what you have determined to be your child’s best learning techniques. Do they learn best independently, or do they get easily frustrated and need more guidance during lessons? Are they quick to get distracted and need a designated space to quietly complete lessons, or do they do better when they can brainstorm ideas in a group with their peers?
Once you have taken note of the best learning strategies for your child, you can start to develop a better learning approach for them. Using what you’ve gathered, be certain your child has the proper space and utilities available for lessons in order to tailor their educational time to their own needs and minimize frustrations as much as possible. From there, other ways to increase motivation and focus levels include:
- Maintain a structured – but somewhat flexible – daily routine. Children tend to do best with routines but try not to keep it so rigid that there is no wiggle room – this can cause added stress if you try to force learning at a time that is not optimal for your child.
- Utilize online resources. Sometimes a different approach is needed, so utilize your online resources like free educational tours, fun activities, or even group chat sessions to allow them to touch base with their friends and classmates to talk about what they’re learning.
- Plan unconventional learning projects. If you find your child getting burnt out with daily activities, try switching things up. Think about what their interests are and find a way to make them educational. Teach them a recipe in the kitchen. Ask them to design a structure out of building blocks or random household items. Look for an online dance class or activity that gets them moving more. Send them on scavenger hunts for indoor or outdoor items. All of these are ways in which children can focus on following direction as well as utilizing their creativity – in other words, it’s home learning.
With such an unconventional approach to education occurring everywhere right now, trying ways to embrace different learning opportunities can be key to holding interests and gaining a broader educational experience. Think of it as a fantastic time to focus on what truly interests your child and expand on those real-life learning opportunities for them.
“This is a good time for kids to pursue interests they haven’t had time to focus on in the past. It could be cooking, building in Minecraft, or drawing. Bonus: If it’s something they’re truly interested in, you won’t have to bug them to do it,” explains NPR.org.
What to Remember When Managing Distance Learning
One of the most important things to remember when you find yourself faced with a frustrated child (and family in general) is to have patience and utilize your resources. Other parents can be a fantastic resource for innovative ways to keep your child’s motivation up during homeschooling as well as online sites that can offer tips, activity ideas, and free educational tools and activities. Above all, remember to give yourself (and your child) a break – both figuratively and physically – when needed. If things are getting too stressful or distracting, take a breather and try a new activity for the time being. When you’re able to come back to the lesson, try a new approach or bring in the help of others via online chats. Just remember, we’re all finding ways to manage the new dynamics and there’s no single “right” way to get through the day. Find what works best for you and give yourself (and your child) the space to navigate the experience at the right pace for your family. Some days this may look extremely structured and productive. Other days it may mean simply watching movies, cooking together, or doing other things like reading entertaining books instead of more traditional learning sessions. The point is, it’s all learning, it’s all important, and it’s ok if your daily routine isn’t as rigid as it was before social distancing.