10 ways you can make remote learning fun for your child
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On August 17th, 2020, a mother shared an emotional photo online of her 5-year old son crying while studying virtually. From tantrums to heart-wrenching sobs, parents all over the world seem to be at the receiving end of such negative reactions from children when it comes to remote learning. Hitherto, elearning seemed to be a preserve of a few people, mainly adults, but with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, students everywhere have had to resort to learning online to keep up with their school work.
The bad news is, remote learning is here to stay even beyond the pandemic and the reopening of schools but the good news is there are ways parents especially can navigate the stormy seas of e-learning to make the experience better for their wards. We’ve put together 10 simple but effective ways parents can help children transition smoothly to remote learning.
1. Set a schedule
Research shows that children respond better to consistent and predictable classroom environments, schedules, and routines. It is important to let the children know it is not vacation time and so the closer you stick to a normal school schedule, the easier it will be for them to adjust. One way to do this is to stick to the school’s schedule and make time for homework and other school work which is favorable to both your and your children.
2. Provide a conducive learning environment
The learning environment plays a vital role in the ability of children to study effectively. Suffice to say, it is not enough to just provide a laptop for your child. Some of the essentials for a good environment include providing a dedicated study area or space and removing distractions like television from this area. But most importantly, it is necessary to know your child and determine which conditions are most favorable to them when it comes to learning.
3. Get Involved
Helping students learn is inevitable when it comes to virtual learning. Unlike traditional classrooms where teachers engage students in physical activities, parents need to get involved and engage children in tangible activities that can aid children in their studies. For older children, keeping up with their school work and ensuring they participate in class sessions will go a long way to ensure success.
4. Provide all resources
This might seem obvious but something as little as a bad internet connection is very likely to mar your child’s virtual learning experience. In addition to a good internet connection, it is essential to equip children with textbooks, notebooks, pens or pencils, boards, log-in information for all accounts, a PDF reader, laptop, and whatever they need to get the work done.
5. Keep up with all school work
Without proper attention, children can fall behind quickly with their school work. Check emails and other communication daily so you can stay up to date on the timelines for assignments and other school work.
6. Stay in touch
One drawback of online schools is the absence of physical connection with peers and teachers. Whenever possible, interact daily with teachers and encourage facetime with other students so children do not feel too isolated.
7. Monitor Screen time
While employing the internet and digital devices like laptops and tablets for e-learning, it is possible for children to get distracted by Youtube videos, social media, and instant messaging channels, so keep an eye on your child’s activities to make sure they are really learning. Preferably, give your child a dedicated laptop or device with partial or full restrictions to non-school related work.
8. Keep Communication Open
It is important to pay attention to your child’s progress and whatever barriers and difficulties they might be experiencing with online learning. Solicit feedback so you know what works and what doesn’t, this will help you tailor a good home learning experience for your child.
9. Switch it up
Even though it is important to set and keep a learning schedule, it is possible for the routine to get boring and tiring. So watch out for signs like fidgeting, restlessness, and lack of concentration in your child and relieve the tedium by engaging in some physical activities like games or simply taking a walk.
10. Have Fun
The saying all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, still remains true. So don’t forget to incorporate some fun activities into learning. Talk to your child’s school about what visual learning aids or games you can acquire to make learning fun for your children.