We are still fresh when it comes to dealing with work-from-home and school-from-home. With us just being in year 2 of the pandemic. Online school seems like it’s here to stay, but we really have no textbook to deal with it.
But there are ways and means by which we can provide a better learning environment for our children.
Now that schools have reopened in the digital age and the academic year is set in motion, we are still learning on the go. However, we think these tips can help both parents and children better cope where there is no textbook solution to navigating online school:
Seven Simple Tips to Help You Feel at Ease about Online School
1. Decrease Distractions
Who isn’t distracted today? Even we adults find it difficult to resist distractions while working. However, as a parent, we can reduce distractions by laying down some ground rules like no fun surfing or games during school and study time and also giving a dedicated space for study.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Because of an increase in screen time, it is important to take regular breaks from the screen. It is also important to get up and move around. Breaks anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes of no screen will help. This will also reduce the stress and anxiety that a child may suffer due to continuous screen time.
3. Time Management for Kids
Making and following a consistent schedule will help the children better cope with online schooling. It’s best to keep a schedule for the child that they would follow on regular school-going days. No late nights during the weekdays, waking up at a specific time and following the regular daily routine, a time to study and a time for play – the parent has to make and follow the schedule with the child. However, observe how the child is responding to the schedule and make changes to adapt to the child’s needs. The schedule should serve a purpose – better engagement and focus for the child.
4. Kids should stay in touch with their friends
Children these days have become socially distanced. Interacting with other children is an important part of growing up. Unfortunately, this is lost due to the lockdown and no physical school happening. There are many online classes available now over the weekend which will enable the child to interact with other children, connect with old friends, and make new ones. This will not only help fulfill the child’s social needs but also build a support group for them.
5. Positive feedback
Children look forward to their parent’s approval. So, it is important that a child is given positive feedback from time to time. Kids are not getting the reassurance and reinforcements from their teachers at schools these days, so it is important for parents to fill in this role.
Positive feedback can expand into actions like an additional 15 minutes of playtime or watching a movie together or doing an activity together. This not only enables positive behavior but also goes to build a better bond between parents and child.
6. Be flexible
And we mean BE FLEXIBLE by being a good listener and observer. If the schedule or ground rules are upsetting the child resulting in a lack of interest, engagement, or focus, it needs to be changed. Often, this would require us to adjust our schedule to the child.
7. Reach out
Reach out when in doubt to your support groups. This can be the class Whatsapp group or a discussion with the teacher, friends, and family. There is always a solution to every problem and, you never know, you could get some creative ways to solve yours. You can also help others out through your support group. What’s important in this pandemic is that we are there to support each other.
Technology is there to enable us, not turn us into robots. As parents, we have to know this and help our children use these wonderful tools at their disposal. And we have to feel confident using it by overcoming any inhibitions or fears we may have.
“Helping students find a path to purpose is one of the noblest aspects of teaching”Vicki Zakrzewski, Educator
And as parents, we too must light that path.