How to make learning from home easier for your child?
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The challenges of 2020 have forced children to be extremely flexible and learn from various sources. Parents may need to invest in tools that allow children to separate their learning space from their family and playing spaces to make learning from home easier. Tools to make it easier to see and hear clearly can also be useful.
Create a space
If at all possible, set up the school space in a different spot from the rest of your home life. If this is not possible, consider using a particular placemat that your child can consider their school space, or use a tablecloth to turn the school learning table back into the dining room table.
If your child must study in shared spaces, make sure that you do your best to minimize distractions. For those with open homes where the dining room table is near the television, set up no TV hours, or be ready to turn the television and use headsets so anyone not in school has privacy while children have fewer distractions.
Use a timer
Another way to create divisions between school time and home time is to use a timer. Many children struggle to manage their energy while seated at school, and the inability to change environments can make that even worse.
Consider starting a short calisthenics routine, jumping jacks, or even taking a walk during breaks. Allow your child to get up, move their body, get water or a healthy snack, or do whatever it takes to do a brain reset so they can more easily find focus. When the timer goes off, everyone gets back to work.
This works in the reverse as well, of course. If your child loves letters but hates math, put a timer to work on math homework. Make a promise to each other that you will do something fun after 15 minutes of hard math work. Set the timer and be ready to answer questions, or observe to help your child stay on track. When the timer goes off, follow through with the fun promise.
Consider a headset and glasses
Using an office headset can help clear up fuzzy audio challenges. It also serves as a really nice reminder that the child needs to have their bottom on the school chair while the headset is on.
A bright pair of blue light glasses are also a good choice to cut down on overstimulation and eye strain. When your child can go back to school, keep the blue light glasses as a reminder that home screens can also be for learning. If your child likes the glasses, they can serve as a handy tool for playing educational games or watching educational videos.
Have an end time ritual
When it is time to quit, your child may be wired, or they could be exhausted. Make an end-time ritual that includes washing hands and face, combing hair, storing school gear, or maybe just a shoulder rub for your little one. The uncertainty of the pandemic has been really hard on children, so touch is critical to relieving their stress.
Make sure your child has a paper or a dry erase board and markers
Finally, makes sure that your child is still building the tactile skills needed to put pencil to paper. Teachers may ask children to show their work on a dry erase board, so getting a small board and some fine markers is a good investment.
Allow the child to keep pencil and paper close so your child can make a list to remind themselves of thoughts that come up during the day. It can be hard to sit in your own house and try to focus on a teacher far away. If your child is prone to hopping up and talking to you or asking you questions about non-school issues, let them write those questions down to ask on a break. This is a good habit for fine motor skill building, a great habit to get into to aid with focus, and will be a gift to that remote teacher.
The pandemic really changed the world for a lot of children. Do your best to make your home as learning-friendly as possible while allowing your child to define their different spaces.