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  • Writer's pictureIshani Wijayasiri

How to Adapt to Online Learning at Home: Tips for Guardians, Educators and Students

Staying focused while trying to take a class from your kitchen or bedroom can be tough and many parents and students have learned this lesson over the course of the pandemic. Without teachers there to keep students on task, television, video games, siblings, pets, food and household chores can easily pull focus, interrupting important online learning sessions and homework. So what can parents and students do to stay on track?

Tips for Parents or Guardians ON ADAPTING TO DISTANCE LEARNING

Set clear expectations. It’s important to have a direct discussion with kids to remind them that although they are home, they aren’t on vacation.

Provide structure and stick to it. Each morning identify what work needs to be done and how you plan to tackle that work as a family, particularly if you have to share devices.

Establish a working space for kids. This space should be where they feel most comfortable completing work. Feeling comfortable can help them perform better,

Don’t allow what wouldn’t be allowed in the classroom. Kids don’t have television and video games while they are learning in the classroom, so those devices shouldn’t be on while they are learning at home.

Give kids breaks. Kids can only focus for so long, so parents should give children breaks from work before moving to another assignment. If they are only able to do 15 minutes of continuous work at a time, that’s OK.

Use positive reinforcement. The television shouldn’t be on while they are completing an assignment, but motivating children by saying they can have an outdoor break or more TV time after work can help them remain on task.

Remember that the school staff is there to help. If you have concerns or challenges, voice them to teachers. And note that for students who might have special needs, social workers, school counselors and other support staff are often still working and available to help.

Rely on your fellow parents as resources. Other families in your neighborhood are learning how to navigate this situation as well and may be able to offer help if you struggle to understand an assignment.

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