Due to COVID-19, the beginning of the new school year has been more stressful for families than usual as many students begin virtual or hybrid styles of learning. USA Today recently published some useful online learning advice to help parents prepare their children for a successful learning year. Below are a few of USA Today’s tips.
- Reduce Distractions – Set up a quiet, clutter-free workspace for your children. Consider limiting the non-educational use of electronic devices until schoolwork is done.
- Brain Breaks for Online Learning – Allowing time for exercise before your child is expected to focus on learning is a good idea. Repeated physical activity during school can improve attention and help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Time Management Tips – Try to get your children on the same schedule they had when going into school, including having the same wake-up time. Also, monitor your child’s attention to see what time of the day they are the most focused.
- Provide Positive Feedback – Many children miss receiving reinforcement and reassurance from teachers and counselors. Try building a reward system to help maintain motivation.
- Be Flexible – You may need to adjust your schedule as you go. Try working with your children on more challenging tasks during the times of day when they are most alert and engaged. Encourage your child to continue working on things that come more easily when you are not readily available.
- Help Kids Stay in Touch with Their Friends – School serves as a place for kids to socialize and hone their networking skills. Implementing social interactions into your child’s routine, such as organizing a daily video chat with peers, may help them stay connected.
- Reach Out to Your Child’s Teacher – Try to begin this academic year by opening a dialogue with your kids’ teachers. A lack of communication with the parent can be challenging for a teacher, especially in the online learning environment. Being proactive is essential if your child is struggling in school.
- Kids With Special Needs – Some of the worst consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are experienced by the most vulnerable students, such as children who require individualized education program (IEP). The first thing parents need to do is meet with an IEP team and discuss what strategies and tools the school can put into place to support students in virtual learning.
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