Updated: Jul 23, 2021
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
- B.B. King
There are many ways you can help children learn at home. However, adjusting to a new learning routine can be challenging and stressful for everyone involved.
The following tips help you to get the support you need to facilitate online learning while staying connected and engaged with your education community.
1 Stay in touch with your child's educator
Communicate challenges to your school. Talk to your child’s teacher regularly about academic progress and any issues they are having. Consider ideas about how to better support your child.
If your child is older (in middle or high school), you may consider encouraging them to communicate directly with their teachers about progress, challenges, and learning needs.
2 Create a schedule and routine for learning at home
Where possible, set up a designated, quiet space in your home for online learning. Try to have your child choose a space where they agree to learn. Here are some other things you can do to help your child create a conducive learning environment at home:
I. Limit distractions from siblings, television shows, tablets, or other devices that may take your child’s attention away from learning. Set up rules for everyone at home to try to be as quiet as possible while your child is engaged in class.
II. Review assignments and expectations from the school, and help your child establish a reasonable pace for completing their schoolwork.
III. Assist your child with turning on devices, reading instructions, and typing answers. If you encounter difficulties in using technology needed for online learning, contact your child’s teacher for assistance.
IV. Develop consistent routines and expectations that work for your child and reinforce them through reminders (e.g., written schedule, pictures), positive feedback, or rewards.
V. Provide opportunities for time away from screens. If your schedule allows, insert breaks for fun activities, free time, healthy meals and snacks, time outdoors and physical activity.
3 Consider your child’s individual learning needs
The transition to being at home will be different for preschoolers, elementary students, middle school students, and high school students. Ask your child what they like and find challenging about learning at home, then make adjustments, as needed.
If your child has special or intensive support needs, consider increasing the structure and consistency of the learning routine. Increase the frequency of reminders about expectations and share positive feedback or other rewards when they are met.
For younger children or children who have trouble focusing, allow for more frequent breaks and use a timer to indicate the end of a break. You may also consider providing breaks as rewards for completing more challenging activities.
For younger children or children with sensory needs, sitting at a table all day may prove challenging. Consider alternatives such as floor space, floor pillows, or a yoga ball.
It may take awhile for your child to readjust to digital learning, but once he or she adapts to the format, you and your child may realise that there are multiple benefits of online learning, some of which include:
1 Convenience and accessibility Online learning is accessible for any child with an access to a computer and stable internet connection. It eliminates the travelling time that you would have to take into account if your child is enrolled in a physical enrichment programme, and it doesn’t matter what their schedules are like, they are able to login to a virtual classroom and start learning with the click of a button. 2 Improved communication and collaboration Virtual classrooms can allow your child to ask questions freely and build relationships with other children they share interests with. It is especially beneficial for shy children who might have anxiety when it comes to raising their hands in a real classroom and addressing the teacher directly, while other students look on. In online lessons, children can simply leave a question or an opinion in the chatbox for the teachers and their peers to reply to. 3 Build computer savviness By being on the computer during online lessons, children can pick up and discover new tech skills and become more proficient with the keyboard and applications. In addition to that, with more companies expanding their reach to other countries and shifting to virtual teams, having the knowledge of how to collaborate and learn remotely can be a definite bonus for your child's future career. prospects.
Remember – there is no “right” way for your child to learn at home. Do what works for you and your family, and make sure to prioritize your own well-being so that you stay healthy and feel ready to address your child’s needs in education and beyond.
No one said home-based learning would be easy, but there is much that can be done in terms of preparation and adjustment that can make it easier. Our goal is to help you with that process as much as possible, so you do not have to worry about your child’s education.
At The Speech Academy, we believe that quality education should be readily available for everyone.
If you’d like your child to branch out and practice soft skills in real life, sign up for our virtual classes on our website. Not only will your child learn soft skills, but they’ll also learn how to be a team player, and they’ll learn about presenting online! We hope to see you on Zoom one day!