Author: Demetrius Harrison
At least 90% of all students in the world are now stuck at home due to COVID-19. Their immediate shift to distance learning has caused many challenges, leaving nearly 9 in 10 parents concerned their child’s grades may fall behind. In fact, the plethora of distractions that come with learning from home has left more than 8 in 10 parents struggling to keep their children engaged in schoolwork. 76% are students are in lower spirits than before the pandemic, and 66% are teachers feel the same. Although in lower spirits themselves, teachers are worried 90% of their students will fall behind in math, 88% of their students will fall behind in English, and 81% of their students will fall behind in science. When parents and teachers work together to tackle their similar concerns, students can still learn and thrive from home.
Reduce The Amount of Tech Distractions
First and foremost, encourage your child to turn off all nearby tech distractions. However, this doesn’t exactly mean powering down devices. Ask your child to stop their notifications from coming through altogether. Turning on “do not disturb” mode during classes will suffice. Be wary that simply silencing notifications will not do the trick. Vibrations and awaking screens can be as distracting as sounds.
Additionally, consider limiting specific apps during class time. For Android devices, use “focus mode” to block access to specific apps on a set schedule. For Apple devices, use “screen time” to set time limits on specific features and apps. This way, students can find a new normal.
Build a New Schedule
It’s easy to let normal schedules slip when everyone is home. Time seems to overlap, making it seem “okay” to be distracted during virtual class time. Understand you don’t have to stick to your old schedule to have a consistent routine.
Encourage your child to build a schedule around a specific activity rather than specific plans. This way, more goals can get accomplished in the dedicated time of execution. A constructive example would be to alternate between independent and shared activities. By having “quiet” and “active” play can help avoid behavior problems and improve your student’s focus.
Furthermore, master transitions. Doing so can keep your child engaged, even in between tasks. To be most effective, give your child warnings before a transition, and stick to them. For example, “Five minutes until Science!” Then, after five minutes, announce it’s time for the transition. This gets your child’s attention, gives them directions, and a direct call to action.
In their downtime, encourage more sleep as it reduces stress (for both you, and your child). If you set a specific bedtime and wake time, stick to it – even if they’re different times than kids are used to going to school.
Share & Collaborate
Quarantine is a great time to make learning fun. Besides, when learning is fun, it’s easy to get kids engaged. Consider reviving letter writing as an effort in this. Writing letters to friends and family makes a great way to help kids stay connected while practicing valuable fine motor skills.
Furthermore, continue letting students collaborate and help others with their schoolwork through digital means. This can continue the dynamic of in-person class sessions. You should also keep in touch with other parents to swap ideas on what’s working, and what isn’t, for your child’s distance learning.
Home learning is most effective when it’s smoothly operating and fun. Find more tips on enhancing home learning for the student below.