Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.
Distance learning has brought along multiple challenges for parents and teachers alike. Teachers are struggling to maintain a high level of engagement, whereas parents are required to get more involved than ever. Activity-based learning, which was essential for students, has now become challenging. Similarly, finding an alternative to group learning, interactive competitions, and indirect learning methods seem impossible.
Distance learning involves online videos, digital resources, live sessions via Zoom, or a scheduled learning program. Teachers are struggling to create interactive live sessions, whereas parents are ending up being frustrated. The real struggle begins when kids are disengaged, have increased screen times, and show slow progress. Tough tricky, but managing the kids experiencing remote learning is not impossible.
Let us shed light on some key tips for easy management of remote learning:
- Know What Is Expected
Sitting in front of the laptop for long hours is not a solution. Decide a particular screen time for your child. Discuss the duration with school teachers. If the child is aged between 4-8 years, 2 hours of screen time is enough. Plan some creative activities at home as children enjoy activity-based learning. If you are short of time, involve kids in routine activities. For instance, let your child bake with you. Baking is an ideal task for clearing concepts, various math concepts like fractions, addition, and subtraction.
If the child is big enough to read and comprehend on their own, buy activity books for learning. These books have learning games, puzzles, and riddles with answers at the back. Children above 8 years can have more screen time than the young ones. Utilize this extra time in online learning games and activities. Decide a ratio between live lectures and activity as per the child age.
- Selection of Activities
We cannot select a single activity for every child at home. Since activities are designed as per the subject, they should be selected according to the child’s age. In the same way, pick activities that sound more interesting to your child. Some children love interacting with teachers via online channels, while others find it boring.
Since children are at home, pick engaging activities that require more child involvement. For instance, ask children to design their vocabulary cards rather than using the ready-made ones. Pick activities as per the subject time table. Teachers and parents need to make some extra efforts here. Plan them over the weekend so that you can keep the child at a good pace.
- Physical Activities and Movement
Besides boredom, laziness is another common concern of parents these days. Children have a lot of energy, and they need to have regular exercise every day. Some children even show hyperactivity and frustration if physical work is absent. Though we are experiencing social distancing, let children exercise at home.
Skipping, jumping, skating, and running can be easily practiced. You can also involve children in household chores like carpet cleaning, mopping, dusting, etc. These things will refresh your child’s mind, making him ready to learn more.
- Let Your Child Focus
Creating an environment that can foster learning is imperative. Children have everything at home. They are interacting with teachers and have all the course material. What they are missing is the environment. However, it can be created at home. Make some effort to make a separate learning space at home. Keep it free from all distractions.
When children come under the learning environment, they are self-motivated to learn. Design the space as per the child’s age. For instance, if your children are in elementary classes, keep some educational toys for learning. For elder children aged 8-13, you can keep interactive books, sketching boards, stationery, crafting material, and so on.
- Adjusting Schedule
Forceful learning can never work. Be sure to adjust your routine as per the child’s mood. Breaks after every task are essential. Some children learn best when taught unintentionally. So, you cannot fix a learning time, especially if the child is young. Pick up one topic per day and let the child perform activity when he shows interest. However, if the child is attending online sessions, they will be fixed.
- Discuss Everything
Be sure to discuss everything in detail with children at home. Since children are experiencing remote learning for the first time, do not expect much. Give them enough time to adjust to the new routine. If the response is slow, sit with your child and discuss the matter.
Listen to what things are causing trouble and find solutions. You can also plan a weekly learning schedule and discuss it beforehand. Show flexibility in altering it as per the child’s preference. Communication can resolve hundreds of problems if practiced at the right time.
- Establish Rules
Though digital platforms offer commendable learning resources, they come along with a lot of risks. Be sure that the child is safely using the internet. Set rules and decide the time limit for using digital devices. Similarly, set parental control and keep an eye on when the child is using the internet. Inappropriate content, scamming, and cyberbullying can be extremely dangerous for young children.
- Feedback and Rewards
Give prompt feedback to motivate children for the next task. Encourage them with little gifts and highlight how well they are performing, even in distance learning. Even if the child is not doing good, show positivity in your comments. Giving remarks like poor work, failure, or the unsatisfactory result will always demotivate your child. Instead, highlight mistakes in a positive way.
Wrapping It Up
In short, managing children to learn from home can become easier if some key points are kept in mind. Though it is a new challenge for every child, it is perfectly doable. However, it requires immense support from parents and teachers.
Selecting the best activities, giving time for exercise, creating a learning environment, adjusting routine, establishing rules, and rewarding children are some tips to successfully achieve this challenge. Just like every other person, children are also going through a rough time due to this pandemic. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to give them courage and create an environment where they can learn in the best possible manner.