Remote learning during COVID-19: Tips for virtual learners
Help to make learning from home a successful experience for your children
Have you decided to keep your child home to continue their education remotely during the pandemic? Maybe you have selected in-person learning and are taking precautions in the case that school gets shut down again like it did in the spring.
Either way, virtual learning is something all parents have tried their hand at during this pandemic. Here are some tips to ensure your child, no matter their grade, has an optimal learning environment and experience while getting their education at home.
LOOK: An infographic explains five tips parents should keep in mind if their child is remote learning this school year.
Invest in blue light glasses
Blue light is emitted through digital screens, like phones and computers, and can lead to eye issues including eye strain, retina damage and dry, watery or irritated eyes.
Your child’s screen time will naturally increase if they are learning remotely, since they will be taught through their computer or tablet. Consider investing in a pair of blue light glasses, which are specifically crafted to block or filter the blue light given off through screens.
These glasses can help alleviate any eye discomfort and improve sleep habits. Other helpful habits to encourage your child to rest their eyes from increased screen use include getting outside a few times every day and taking frequent breaks from devices.
Take frequent breaks
As mentioned above, make sure your child is getting enough breaks from screen time and learning. Kids can’t be expected to work and learn for six to eight hours straight every day. It’s not conducive to their learning experience, and breaks can actually help reduce stress and anxiety while improving productivity, focus and self-esteem.
Grade schoolers (K-5) should get a 3 to 5-minute brain break every 10 to 15 minutes of learning, or after a specific task is completed. While middle and high schoolers (6-12) can focus for longer periods of time, they should still take a 3 to 5-minute brain break every 20 to 30 minutes of learning, or after a specific task is completed.
Use this time to have your kiddos to stretch, get out some energy or simply sit still. Make sure that whatever they’re doing, they’re getting away from their screens and really giving their mind a rest.
Get in some exercise
Physical activity can promote better learning. A study by Harvard Medical School actually found that regular exercise can improve memory and thinking skills.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get at least 60 minutes of some sort of exercise per day. Examples of activities include playing games, free-time play, walking, running, hiking, jump roping, skating and riding a bike — anything that gets your child’s heart rate up throughout the day.
Have a dedicated learning space
Make sure the environment where your child is attending classes online is conducive to their learning experience. Designate an area of your home as your child’s learning space and ensure the spot is free of distractions, has a strong WiFi connection and some sort of natural light. You want this area to be stocked with appropriate school supplies as well.
We recommend choosing a spot that isn’t too isolated from the rest of the house, so you can check in with them when necessary.
Schedule learning and studying time separately
Since your child’s learning and studying will take place in the same environment, it will be hard for them to separate the two in the same location they also have their “fun” time outside of school.
Schedule specific blocks of time for your student to learn new materials and for their class time. This should take place in their dedicated learning space.
Other blocks of time should be designated for review any material they’ve already learned, or for studying. This can also be done in their dedicated learning space, but if they had a different area of your home prior to the pandemic they enjoyed studying at, that also works.
It’s also important to give your children time outside of learning to just be a kid. This pandemic has been hard on everybody, so make sure they have the opportunity to relax a bit and enjoy their time pursuing any of their interests, hobbies or passions.