With online learning becoming more popular than ever, parents can find themselves wondering what steps they can take to help children succeed in this new style of education. After all, several tried-and-true techniques depend on in-person interaction with teachers, which is often not possible with online learning.
That said, it is possible for parents to prepare their kids for the new school year, even if everything will be taking place online.
One of the biggest challenges of learning from home is the plethora of distractions children are surrounded by. A report from the Journal of Media Education showed that kids check their laptops, smartphones, and tablets over 11 times a day for non-class-related reasons. Additionally, they spend over 20% of their class time doing non-class-related activities on these devices.
While the use of the Internet has become a necessity for learning today, parents need to be involved in helping their children limit the use of devices for non-educational purposes until their schoolwork is done. This means only using the Internet for research and to log on to video conferencing websites used to facilitate classes, like Zoom and Google Meet.
Staying in constant communication with teachers will allow parents to have a clear idea of where their kids stand in school and what assignments they need to complete. While in-person meetings are limited during online school, a parent teacher communication app like Klassly (developed by the company Klassroom) can make communication much easier. These apps also help teachers stay on top of students' home situations, making it easier for them to keep track of when a student will be unable to attend class.
There are easy apps to use that allow educators to create several classrooms if necessary. Parents and teachers can even sync calendars, schedule appointments, and stay up-to-date with important information like homework, educational documents and videos, and so on. Parents can also directly communicate with other parents in the class, which makes organizing group assignments (and even birthday parties!) much easier.
Moving from in-person to online learning is challenging in a number of ways. For one, excessive screen time is linked to numerous health concerns, including depression and diabetes. Furthermore, staying on task can be challenging for kids who have to adapt to a new learning environment.
Parents should figure out ways to allow kids a small break in between classes. These breaks don't need to be lengthy or affect their attendance - even 5 minutes can help.
Furthermore, they can also help their kids by building exercise time into their schedules. This break can be part of their recess or lunch break (if these are part of their online school) or can be part of their post-school schedule. Physical activity has a ton of benefits, including improving the attention span, reducing stress, and staving off anxiety.
Online school is a challenging obstacle for many children, especially those who thrive on in-person interactions. That said, by playing an active part in their education, it is possible for parents to reduce the possibility of children feeling burned out and stressed because of online learning.
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