When schools close due to unexpected emergencies, students who typically learn in a classroom environment may find themselves learning from home.
If your child's district has planned an extended closure and is looking to online learning as an alternative, it's important for parents to keep students focused. Consider these tips to help your child move ahead rather than fall behind.
Get Them Off the Couch
Set up a work space for your child that is specifically devoted to schoolwork. This space must be away from distractions such as televisions and high-traffic areas in your home. Organize school supplies in the work space so that your child isn't wasting time searching for materials.
Create a Daily Schedule
Without school bells, it’s easy to lose track of time throughout the day. Maintaining a daily schedule is essential to success in an online school environment. Email your child's teachers if you need help with creating a schedule. Remember to plan breaks at the same time every day. Consider using cell phone alarms to signal an activity change.
It’s also important that your child gets enough rest so that they have enough energy for a day’s worth of schoolwork. Keep their school routine by setting a reasonable bed time on school nights, and have your child wake up at the same time every day. Each morning, encourage your child to take a shower, change out of pajamas, and make themselves feel ready to take on the day.
It’s easy for kids to fall into a slump when they are at home for long periods of time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children ages 6 to 17 get at least 60 minutes of “moderate-to-vigorous” physical activity every day.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Physical activity also has brain health benefits for school-aged children, including improved cognition (e.g., academic performance, memory) and reduced symptoms of depression.” Consider a brisk walk to benefit your child’s academic performance.
Everyone knows that kids are easily distracted. Therefore, it’s important to keep them accountable for their schoolwork. Collaborate with your child to create an accountability plan. The level of your involvement depends on your child’s age and level of independence.
Review to-do lists and lesson plans and compare them to what your child has accomplished at the end of each day. If they didn’t complete all their work during the day, it’s ok to do a little “homework” in the evening. Help them to avoid procrastination. Several hours of evening work to stay on pace isn’t fun for anyone.
Make it Engaging
Depending on your district's level of preparedness for emergency online learning, consider supplementing your child's work with online educational videos. Khan Academy is a great place to start for math videos. Lincoln Learning's YouTube channel contains hundreds of educational videos in all subject areas for students in grades K-12, and new videos are added weekly.
In addition, you can find educational games on the Lincoln Learning Resource Page. Should you need a video and can't find what you're looking for, leave us a comment below or in YouTube, and we'll be happy to search our library to help you find what your student needs.