Online education is no longer a taboo subject as schools all around the world are facing the challenge of providing digital learning solutions. In times like these, parents and teachers should collaborate to help the children adjust to the digital transformation they are facing. E-learning resets the grounds of education. However, staying in front of the computer for hours is not easy, and children, in particular, can be easily distracted. That is why we established ten tips for parents/legal tutors to help the youngsters stay focused and don’t get frustrated at home
1.Induced environment – make sure your child doesn’t do his lessons in bed. Studies have shown that work and studying should take place in a suitable background for these activities. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard explains that “Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.” Therefore, every activity (learning, working, cooking, sleeping, etc.) needs a particular environment that sustains it.
2. General overview – help your children understand the whole online learning process. Explain to him that on the other side of the screen, a teacher is trying his best to deliver educational material. For most of the teachers, this is a brand new teaching method, and they are as well trying to adapt and avoid their students to feel frustrated. Everyone needs to keep good energy and a high level of curiosity. If every person involved in the process (teachers, children, parents) is doing their part, the online learning process becomes easy to handle.
3. Learning together – for the little ones using a video collaboration tool or an e-learning platform can be confusing at times since they don’t know how to handle it. Take your time and teach them, step by step, how to use a device and attend their classes (how to log in, how to register for a class, how to turn on/off their microphone or camera, how to communicate with their peers, and so on). Discovering the digital solution together can make your child feel more comfortable and be less exposed to logistical mistakes.
4. Checklists – small tasks lead to bigger ones. Setting the framework for the day offers the learner a perspective of the progress he is making. If you establish a checklist with your child (with classes to attend, homework, or exercises, etc.), this will help him/her move further. The satisfaction of having completed a task should go hand in hand with a small break or a relaxing activity.
5. Breaks – as online learning is still a new way of learning for most children, the ground rules are yet to be set. Everyone should learn at their own pace; of course, when it comes to synchronous learning, the child is continuously facing the screen. However, when activities become too tiring or challenging, a small break is highly recommended. Show support, encourage your children to be honest, and inform the teacher whether they feel overwhelmed or tired. This way, the teacher can establish a few minutes break with the entire class. Digital education is supposed to be more flexible; therefore, the “rules” children used to follow while going to the traditional classroom do not necessarily apply when at home.
6. Routine is a reminder of familiar habits. Keep the morning routine on the schedule; studying from home does not mean sleeping until noon. Help your child maintain the structure of the day as a typical day at school. Simple activities, such as waking up in the morning, having breakfast, changing pajamas, and getting ready for learning, sets a dynamic mood for the rest of the day.
7. Equilibrium – a balanced lifestyle starts at a young age. Teach your child how to disconnect when things become frustrating. Show him how to alternate the time spent in front of the computer with games, walks outside, or other indoor activities (when going out is not possible) – cooking, singing, playing board games, telling stories, dancing. Anything that involves disconnecting from the device and reconnecting with the surrounding world.
8. Feedback – providing feedback to your children in a calm, relaxed manner offers reassurance on the fact they are learning. The learners move forward on their checklists when they understand their process and level of achievement.
9. Team up with educators – remote learning is still in an experimental phase as it is building up day by day. The main focus of the people involved is not to fall behind. Both teachers and students are trying to keep up with this new methodology, but the family resources and abilities play an important role as well. That is why parents and teachers should collaborate more than never to facilitate children’s access to the world of digital learning. Constant communication between parents and teachers helps both sides to understand each other’s effort and respect the work they are investing in the process.
10. Movement is key. Stop projecting a negative aspect of what online education represents. Being in front of a computer does not mean that the learner must sit down like a rock, not moving at all. Attending a class can be done both sitting or standing, and every hour spent in front of a device should find an equivalent of movement such as riding the bicycle, going for a walk, stretching, playing an outdoor game, going to the park. At the end of the remote school day, learning and growth come from simply observing and engaging in the world that surrounds us. Online resources should find their equivalent in the outside world as well. Encourage your child to stay active; the mind & the body are strongly connected. The mind develops as the body performs.