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Education

10 Distance Learning Tips to Help Kids With Virtual School

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools are holding their classes online. This means that kids must adapt to learning outside of the classroom environment. As a result, kids and youth face a variety of challenges associated with being away from their usual academic space.

If you’re a parent, you need to know how to support your child during this time to promote healthy and balanced learning. Fortunately, there are many distance learning tips at your disposal, and you can implement them to help your children succeed.

Here are 10 helpful tips to get you started.

1. Dedicate a Specific Learning Space

Many Canadian schoolchildren are used to a very specific structure. They enter the school and go to their assigned classroom, where they spend most of the day learning from a qualified teacher.

While children can’t be in their classroom environment, you can still create a space that promotes learning in your home. If you have a home office or study, allow your child to use it for their classes. Look up classroom decoration ideas for teachers and order some fun resources that promote learning. 

If you don’t have an office or study, find a quiet place you can dedicate solely to your child’s learning. Make sure that your child is comfortable in the space, and don’t allow them or anybody else to use it for purposes other than school.

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This trains your child’s brain to get into the right frame of mind when they sit down in front of the computer at their desk.

2. Access Virtual School Resources and Activities

Does your child usually participate in an extracurricular activity or take advantage of counselling or special education?

Usually, these activities take place at the school itself. But throughout the pandemic, many events and amenities have had to cancel or undergo adjustments. If it’s not possible for your child’s extracurricular activities to take place in a virtual format, it may have been cancelled. On the other hand, if your child participates in a club that can be hosted online, the group may have gone virtual.

Likewise, many school counsellors and special educators have moved to operating online. To learn which resources your child’s school offers, contact the academy.

3. Set a Schedule

At school, children follow a very specific schedule. This helps them keep their day organized and gives them the ability to excel in their education while making room for other activities. 

If you have children participating in school at home, set a schedule that mirrors an academic schedule as closely as possible. Have them get up at a certain time each day, do their schoolwork at certain hours, and eat lunch at the same time. This will help kids manage their time and support an easier transition once they go back to in-classroom learning.

4. Determine the Preferred Level of Background Noise

Many people assume silence is always the best atmosphere for study. This isn’t always true. 

A good number of students prefer to study in complete silence, but others find that they work better with white noise, or even music or videos playing in the background. 

Ask your child in which atmospheres they feel they work best. If they don’t know, experiment with different environments for a few days. Note which levels of background noise they work best in, and create the perfect atmosphere for them to work in.

Keep in mind, though, that teachers often prefer silence during class time. Usually, this means a child will need to mute their microphone. But if your child needs to talk, they’ll need to unmute themselves — so remember to ensure the background sound is turned off at this point.

5. Make Sure They Have the Right Materials

Every year, schools inform children of the materials they’ll need to have for their studies that year. 

Pay particular attention to that list this year. Having these items sets your child up for academic success. Tell your child that they should let you know when they’re about to run out of materials, so you can provide them with more.

6. Help Them Understand

Do you want to know how to teach a child at home?

Unless you have decided to pull your child out of their academic institution and homeschool them, you should seek to help them understand rather than teach them. Look over the materials they are learning and make sure they understand the requirements. Let them come up with the answers to difficult questions themselves, but make sure they comprehend the concepts.

7. Reward Your Child for Good Behaviour

Teachers often use rewards to encourage positive, learning-promoting behaviour.

If you find your child needs an extra push to sit through their classes, give them small rewards for exhibiting good behaviour. This encourages them to self-regulate and pay attention to the teacher.

8. Keep Them Connected to Their Friends

Children have ample time to socialize when they go to school. Socialization is crucial for a child’s development. It helps them to learn how to interact well with others and provides them with a group of peers they can relate to. Social situations keep kids healthy and well-balanced. You can also find scholastic forums for your child to participate in or schedule video calls with their friends.

9. Build in Mental Breaks

Everyone needs a break, and your kids are no exception. Building short breaks into your schedule helps your child return to their schoolwork rejuvenated and motivated.

Every hour, try to give them a few minutes for a break, class-time permitting. 

10. Give Kids Positive Reinforcement

Children thrive off of positive reinforcement. Often, they receive this from their teachers, who celebrate their successes in the classroom. With online learning, kids might still get this encouragement from their teacher. But you can help reinforce this by celebrating their successes in your own way. This will also help keep them motivated to do well.

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