With school starting this week, parents and students will face the challenges of online learning once again. Learning and growing with the “new normal” is very important for both parents and students. It is also important to help children feel safe, keep healthy routines, manage their behavior and build resilience, according to Dr. Natasha Mathias, DMD.
Homeschooling experts and moms have come up with a few tips and tricks to help get this school year off to the best start including:
During online learning, students can add a social element by meeting in smaller groups outdoors (while practicing social distancing and wearing masks) to go over classwork or study new materials. This will allow students to see classmates and friends “in person” safely.
At home, keep children focused on their schoolwork by creating a specific study area. Decorate it together with your child to involve them in what their “office” will look and feel like. Assigning an area reserved for classwork can help prevent children from distractions.
It is important to keep a routine during online learning. Getting dressed, eating and brushing their teeth everyday can help to make it feel more like a school day rather than a day off.
Encouragement can also be a big help especially when dealing with new technology and resources.
Invest in a good headset for yourself and your child.
Expect your students to turn off their phones and put them in a designated place during school hours.Giving your tween and teen students a respite from their phones is also one of the best things you can do to support their ability to focus, according to Dr. Natasha Mathias, DMD, in addition to the following advice:
Organize a plan at the beginning of each day to develop a schedule for who needs dedicated quiet time (and when) as a good strategy.
Parents can try to schedule lunch breaks to coordinate with kids, when possible.
Interacting over a meal is a great way to reduce screen fatigue.
Lastly, she notes that parents’ attitudes will influence those of your children. Adopt a positive outlook in the morning, even if it seems impossible during these uncertain times.
Make building strong family relationships a priority. Reach out to neighbors, friends, and others in your community to check in, offer support, and connect virtually. We will get through this together.