This school year will certainly put a lot of stress on parents, who must unexpectedly navigate the virtual learning landscape on top of their jobs and other responsibilities. How do you keep students, who would prefer to think of the new school year as an extension of summer break, focused on learning?
In addition to having fast and reliable internet from S&T to power all of your devices, here are a few other strategies to help your students excel during these at-home learning days.
Create a Routine
While the schools and teachers will certainly have a routine during the virtual school day, it is also important to develop a routine at home during the rest of the day. For instance, experts suggest adhering to a regular bedtime on school nights and structuring your morning similar to how it would be if you were attending school in person. This means waking up at a consistent time each morning that allows for breakfast and getting completely ready for the day before sitting down at the computer.
Designate a “Classroom” Space
Whether it’s a home office or the kitchen table, you should designate one specific area in the house as the virtual classroom. When choosing the space, keep in mind a few things:
- It should be low traffic (i.e. not a busy thoroughfare in the house)
- It should be away from the noise of everyday life
- It should have easy access to a plug-in case your device’s battery gets low
Pets, toys, and devices are constant temptations for students learning at home. That’s why it’s best to keep all of them out of your classroom space during the school day. Think of your child’s learning space at home as if it were their desk at school. Anything that would not be allowed on their desk or in their lap at school, should not be there at home either.
Be Mindful of “Screen Time” Overload
While it is good and productive screen time, the virtual school day still counts as screen time, and the simple fact is that staring at device screens for a long period of time is not good for anyone, much less children. Once the virtual school day is over, take a break from screens and spend a few hours offline. Be it playing outside, reading a book, or exercising, give your kids’ minds and eyes a rest from staring at a screen.