It’s not easy turning homes into classrooms, but there are a few things you can do to prepare your child for that, as online learning is a part of students’ lives now.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

Here are eight tips shared by Aark Learnings to prepare your child for online learning from home.

1). Create a study place for your child

Does your child already have a special place in the house where they do homework? It is important to establish a quiet and orderly place if your child is studying at home all the time.

For example, you can turn the kitchen table into a place to study. Turn off the television and remove kitchen utensils such as cups and napkin rings from the table when your child is doing homework. At mealtime, put away school supplies and reuse the table as a kitchen table.

Why is it important to clear the place where you are going to study? Because reducing clutter helps kids focus.

2). Make a plan and follow it

Human beings are creatures of habit. Without the alarm clock to get up, children may want to stay in bed longer. Without a set schedule, children may not get down to doing their homework. Finding time to study requires planning. Review the schedule of family activities and determine the best times to study.

Here are some questions to help you and your child design a schedule:

  1. Does your child need a lot of help from you to start studying? If so, think about when you, another adult, or an older sibling are available to help.
  2. Is your child going to middle school or high school? In that case, the afternoon or evening maybe when he is most attentive and apt to learn.
  3. Are you including time for physical exercise in your child’s schedule? (See recommendation #5). Getting outside and taking mental breaks can help kids focus and get more done.
  4. Does your family have a contract to help children follow rules at home? When children are homeschooled, it’s important to agree on a time to watch TV or play.

Once your study schedule has been established, stick to it.

3). Reduce distractions

There are many distractions in our homes, including video games, computer games, social media, TV, toys, and pets. List the distractions your child faces. Next, figure out how to restrict them during study time.

For example, is the dog a distracting factor? If so, can you take it somewhere else while your child is doing homework?

Is gaming or social media a big distraction? Try to block these activities when studying. Another way to eliminate online temptations is to disconnect your Wi-Fi signal and cell phone service after you’ve downloaded homework, this can help your child focus better.

4). Make use of a coloured calendar

It is important to establish systems to help your child meet assignment deadlines. As a result, keeping organised will be simpler for you.

Hang a calendar on the wall and write down the due dates. Help him plan around the due date. Use visual organisers to break tasks into steps and the strategies needed to complete them.

You can also colour-code tasks. For example, use a red pen for reading assignments and a blue one for math assignments.

5). Do a lot of physical exercises

Physical exercise helps us think better. Being on the move improves our ability to solve problems and pay attention, as well as our memory. Physical activity is a way to reduce stress and prevent anxiety. Experts say that when we move and increase our heart rate, it has a positive effect on how we think.

Look up exercise programs to do at home. Identify the time and place for physical activity. The best time to exercise might be right before you start studying. Taking breaks throughout the day is also crucial.

6). Identify which accessibility features help your child

Most cell phones, laptop computers, and other mobile devices have assistive technology built into them. For example, reading aloud or text-to-speech can help children who have difficulty reading, and speech-to-text can help those who have difficulty writing.

On YouTube, you can adjust the settings to slow down the playback speed if your child has trouble following the videos. You can also include subtitles in the settings section if it helps your child read the text while listening to the videos.

Determine which features help your child access digital content and select those that fit their needs and preferences.

7). Talk to your child’s teacher

Online education or learning at home requires the support of the family. Some online schools even refer to parents as “learning tutors.” To support your child, establish direct contact with their teachers. You can communicate through email, text messages, phone calls, or video conferences.

Try not to worry about interrupting. If you are not sure how to do an assignment, don’t guess and contact the teacher.

You may want to schedule a specific day and time each week to communicate with the teacher. You can take this time to talk about your child’s challenges, review the upcoming lessons, and understand the expectations. Taking initiative is essential if your child is struggling in school.

8). Seek out strategies to eliminate obstacles to learning

If your child has learning challenges, it is important that you review the materials the school sends out. Please note that these materials may not have been designed with your child’s specific needs in mind. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What options are teachers offering students who have difficulty with written materials?
  2. What options does your child have to show understanding? For example, if your child is struggling with writing, ask the teacher if he or she can video the answer.
  3. Does the teacher include support for students with things like getting organized, identifying the main idea in a text, or taking notes?

Together with your child’s teachers, find any obstacles and get rid of them. Remember: if something is challenging for your child, chances are it will be challenging for other children as well.

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