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Struggling to figure out how to make the most out of your child’s online learning? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
With the academic landscape making the shift to online learning due to the current health crisis, parents worldwide have been scrambling to adapt to this change.
Granted, this setup has been around for quite some time now, with distance online learning being offered by certain academic institutions even before the pandemic happened. However, this used to be an option presented only to a few.
During the pandemic, though, online learning has not only become the norm; for some, it has become the only option available. If this is the case for you, and if you find yourself (and your kid) wondering how you can make this arrangement a success, here are 5 online learning tips that you might want to try.
We hope that the suggestions below will help you to make the best of the current situation, minimizing the stress of having to be a parent AND a teacher all at the same time.
Tip # 1: Reduce distractions
One of the things you have to keep in mind is that when it comes to academic performance, the student’s online learning environment matters. So for starters, check your child’s study area, and ask yourself the following:
- Is my child’s desk clutter-free?
- Are there objects nearby that could distract my child during class? (toys, gadgets, etc.)
- Is the study area well-lit and quiet?
Keep in mind that kids have a relatively brief attention span. So help your child focus on what is being taught in class by ensuring that their study area is free from any distraction.
That being said, it is also a good idea to check in on your child from time to time to ensure that they’re not using their gadget for non-class purposes when they’re not yet done with their schoolwork. Read what other students and their professor are saying, and if your child has a question, make sure they ask for clarification while learning online.
Your kid should be organized and be thorough. Have a designated study space that is free of distractions so you can focus on your work. Remove distracting devices from their study space if it hinders their ability to remain focused.
If you feel you’re not hitting the objectives, reach out to their instructor or to other students. Students should develop a long-term plan for completing your major assignments and review materials in the morning, right before work
This is a prevalent behavior, especially this time when classes are held virtually. Because everything is done online, teachers have no way of knowing whether online students are actually listening to the discussion or just playing games/surfing the Internet on their device.
You should create a weekly schedule that they follow , designating certain hours each week to reading, watching lectures, completing assignments, studying, and participating in forums. If your kid is a visual learner, for example, print out transcripts of the video lectures to review. Ensure that it’s quiet, and conducive to their learning style.
Remember that the main difference between studying online and studying in the classroom is that they’re responsible for the learning environment and if your kid is a morning person, make time to study first.
If you notice this behavior in your child, take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening before it starts hurting their academic performance.
Tip # 2: Take brain breaks in between learning
Prolonged use of devices can be harmful, so your child must take breaks in between. Issues such as obesity and depression are just among the most common problems that result from the lack of physical activity experienced by those who just sit in front of the screen the entire day.
How long should each break be? Well, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. You just have to keep in mind that the frequency of these brain breaks may vary from one child to another.
Generally speaking, kids have a very limited attention span and may find it difficult to sit through the entire class without their imaginations wandering off.
However, some kids have an even shorter attention span than others, so it will be up to you to decide how often and how long your child’s breaks should be. There are many active learning strategies that are proven to be effective in both in-person and online learning environments! Be open-minded about these shifts!
You may also want to consider establishing a healthy exercise routine before your child starts with their online learning class. Doing this can help improve your kid’s attention span and reduce stress as well as anxiety.
Tip # 3: Teach your child proper time management
Discipline breeds success, so are you helping your child to be disciplined with their schoolwork? With distance online learning and the current pandemic changing many of our schedules altogether, the best way to teach your kids discipline is by helping them manage their time wisely.
How do you do that? By establishing a routine. One that your kid can follow, no matter their age. Here are some things you can do for your kid’s routine. First, establish a wake-up time, much like the one you’ve set before when they were still attending a physical school.
You also need to establish a routine for their schoolwork. That means starting their online classes simultaneously each day and making sure there are scheduled breaks in between for your child to relax and complete assignments on time.
Arrive to class online the way you would arrive in class in person. For online learners, this means arriving early or on time and being set up in a space meant to support your focus and engagement.
Finally, don’t forget about allowing your child to learn at their own pace and make room for flexibility. For example, if you notice that your child is having difficulty figuring out the day’s lesson or answering homework, you can set the task aside for another time when you can be of assistance.
This will ultimately help them perform better in school. Makes sure you know the course materials and have good internet access beforehand so that the learning process can be made easy.
Again, what works for other online learners may not always work for your child, so make it a point to observe which school routine works best for him or her and then adapt your strategy accordingly.
Tip # 4: Help your kid to stay social online
One of the major challenges that online students face with online learning is that this form of learning limits their social interaction. And with the lack of interaction comes the lack of networking skills necessary for the real world outside school.
So, what can you as a parent do to help your child develop social skills even if classes are being held on the other side of the computer screen?
Since physical interaction is highly limited at the moment, why not have your child interact with their classmates and many teachers in online classes?
Video chats with friends from school, online classroom conversations, and emails can all be a good way to get them to interact with each other without leaving the safety of your home. They should build relationships with other students by introducing themselves and engaging in online discussion boards.
Training your child to enhance their communication and social skills, even studying online will prove to be helpful, especially if they find themselves struggling to catch up on lessons and other schoolwork.
Since they’re already used to communicating with their teacher online, it won’t be difficult for them to ask for support with their school tasks.
Tip # 5: Work with your child's teacher
School teachers can only do so much to help your child succeed. Your role as the parent is a huge determining factor in how far your child will go in life. So work with your child’s teacher to make that happen.
Keep track of your child’s performance at school, and always be on the lookout for ways to improve your child’s chances of succeeding.
If you see that your child is having problems answering homework, navigating their online portal, or understanding the lessons, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher! The sooner such concerns are addressed, the better.
In fact, some parents schedule a day and time each week to speak with the teacher regarding their children’s progress. Why not try to do the same?
Tip # 6: Online courses are not the same as traditional courses
You may know how to send an email, but would you know how to search for the many online courses? How to navigate the online portal of your child’s school? And what about signing up for a class and enrolling in an online course?
All of these things require a different set of skills that most parents aren’t familiar with.
Since you’re not familiar with the ropes of online learning, it’s important that you don’t pressure your child to feel as if school is a race against time. Allowing your child to learn at his or her own pace will help them perform better in the long run.
So relax and remember that taking an online course is just like taking a class at school! Nothing more than that. Your child’s teacher and classmates will be there to help him or her, so allow your child to learn at their own pace and you shouldn’t run into any problems. If they are a night owl, then dedicate some of that Facebook and Instagram time on an evening to studying
So if your child takes an online course this year, remember these four tips:
1) Schedule breaks between work;
2) Encourage social interaction with classmates;
3) Work with your child’s teacher to address any problems that they’re having, and
4) Remember that taking online courses is no different than attending school.
Following these four helpful tips will put you in good stead for your child’s future success, whether it be at school or college degree.
Tip # 7: Give your child technology breaks
Technology can be a distraction.
Kids these days have so much access to technology at their fingertips, from tablets and mobile phones to laptop computers and computer games, it can get quite overwhelming for kids! But did you know that there are benefits to limiting your child’s exposure to technology?
Yes. There are many research studies that suggest that too much screen time can be detrimental to your child’s health. Even if they’re just playing computer games, being exposed to bright lights for too long is bad for their eyesight and mental health.
Since it’s important that kids get enough sleep, limiting their exposure to bright screens at night is a good way of preparing them for the day ahead.
The same thing with sitting at a desk for too long. You need to give your child breaks from time to time, so be sure that they’re not glued to their laptop or desktop computer throughout the day!
So relax and take it easy on your kid when it comes to technology. After all, it’s just a tool that your child uses to enhance their academic success. So try not to think of it as something bad for them, okay?
Tip # 8: Form a healthy relationship with technology to get online learning success
Think back to when you were a kid and you used to go outside and play instead of being glued to the television set.
Remember those fun times? How about the days when you used to read books instead of playing on your computer? Those were some great memories, right?
Remember how fun it was to play outside with your friends and family members instead of being inside all day long? Doesn’t that sound better than staring at a screen for hours on end every single day?
Then allow your child to experience that same level of fun and excitement by encouraging them to play outside with their friends. Get some fresh air while they’re at it, okay?
And just because you’re not glued to a screen doesn’t mean that your child can’t learn! Everything in moderation, so if your kids want to play on the computer then let them.
After all, it doesn’t hurt to learn how to play on a computer at their age as long as they’re learning something new and exciting!
Tip # 9: Show your child the many benefits of online classes
Online classes can be a great way of successful online learning new things and having fun compared to the traditional classroom setting!
It’s like school but at the same time, it isn’t. That’s because you’re not attending boring lectures about abstract subjects that you’ll probably forget as soon as you graduate from college.
Instead, your child will receive one-on-one attention with their online class. A successful online learner also needs to participate in online discussions and online programs with their classmates, and also study.
What’s more, you’ll never have to pay any tuition fees for online courses because they’re completely free!
So why not let your child enjoy their education by taking some awesome classes that will benefit them in the long run? Who knows? They just might go out there and become the next Mark Zuckerberg one day!
A Final Note
No matter what challenge you may face with the current learning setup, always remember that your child’s emotional state can do so much to impact his or her school performance. So do your best to provide your child with the emotional support needed so that school doesn’t feel like a burden for them.
Whatever the case, give your children positive feedback when appropriate! This will inspire them to do even better in online classes.
Enjoyed these helpful tips? Share it with the other mommas out there too! And don’t forget to check out our other posts on the blog.