Three Ways to Prepare Your Child (and Yourself) for Distance Learning

School openings across the country became a rather divisive issue, with some states declaring schools should be at 100 percent capacity while others implementing a combination of online learning and in-person classes.

If your child’s school district is implementing the latter method, you’d still need to prepare your child for this new standard of learning. It’s going to be much different from what we’re all used to but there are some things that should also stay the same.

1. They should still stick to a schedule.

While the school will most likely send you a schedule of classes for you child’s grade, it is up to you to maintain it. There won’t be any school bells to mark the beginning of the day or the start and the end of classes. If you have younger children, you would more likely have to take on those responsibilities.

If your child’s school is giving you the flexibility to dictate when your child will take their classes, you’d need to discuss study hours with your children. Are they more inclined to take lessons in the morning? Or are they more of night owls? What’s important is that, regardless of which time of day they choose, they have to stick to that schedule and routine.

2. They need a designated space for learning.

One of the reasons a classroom setting is the best place to learn is because it doesn’t have any distractions. Once we step inside a classroom environment, our minds automatically go into learning mode. Of course, whether we absorb what we’re learning at the time is dependent on our individual learning styles.

For your child to get the most out of distance learning, you would need to recreate the same kind of environment for them. You can either designate a space in your living room for study time or allocate an area in their bedroom. The most important thing to remember is that the space you create is clutter- and distraction-free.

3. They should take extracurricular classes.

child doing an extracurricular class

Consider this. If COVID-19 wasn’t a threat and your child is scheduled to go back to school as normal, how many lessons and activities would they be doing outside of classes? They would probably have sports activities, music lessons, and dance classes, to name a few. Many of these activities may have been derailed because of the coronavirus pandemic but that doesn’t mean they have to stop these lessons or activities. Instead, you should look for alternatives.

Taking short brain breaks is advisable, but giving them something fun and engaging to do would help them absorb lessons better. For example, if your child is an athlete, consider signing them up with online baseball coaching apps. If they’re musically inclined, some places offer guitar lessons virtually. You could also turn to YouTube for any free choreograph videos that your child can use to enhance their dance skills.

It is also essential that you talk to your child’s teacher at this time. You need to be on the same page when it comes to your child’s education so don’t be afraid to schedule a consultation with an educator. They are in the best position to give you guidance on how best to navigate this new normal in schooling.

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