Extended school closures can be a disruption of routine for many families. Parents are seeking online classes for their children to close the gap of learning, but establishing a new schedule can be a learning curve for all.
As parents, it can be difficult to keep kids engaged during school closures and breaks. In-home lessons can help children stay busy, even when it is not possible to physically be at a camp.
Facebook Live and YouTube are popular for streaming educational videos like the Cincinnati Zoo’s, “Home Safari”, when zoo staff highlights a different animal each day. Local camps and online e-learning websites are offering a wide range of online classes for kids, from virtual dance classes to online coding classes and workshops. Languages and music are also popular online courses for teaching kids at home.
The act of both entertaining and educating children – while sometimes also working from home – can be a challenge. We’ve put together a list of steps you can take to support your child for online learning.
Setting your Kids up for Success Online
- Establish a new routine: Keep in mind that your child is also going through a lot of adjustment, regardless of age. A schedule can keep everyone engaged and happy throughout the day. However, be flexible if your kids need a little more time for an activity.
- Act as if your child is going to class: Establish a time for the class, whether the class is live or self-directed. Post a daily schedule if age-appropriate, or verbally remind your child that morning. Stay comfortable, but don’t forget to change out of those PJ’s!
- Schedule for success: Younger students are often the sharpest in the morning. Start with a more challenging subject early while their brains are most receptive to learning. Each child is different though, so plan accordingly.
- Create a quiet, distraction free environment: To help a child focus on their online class, remove toys and electronics from the room. For example, don’t leave out art supplies if they are having an online music lesson.
- Consider your child’s age and personality: The younger the child, typically the shorter the attention span. When planning an online course for your child, select a length of time that will keep them engaged. If it’s not a live class, schedule movement breaks. Jumping jacks or a couple laps around the yard can help keep your child engaged.
- Plan unstructured play time: Just like at school, it is important to take a break. This is also a good opportunity for parents to check their email, take that work call or finish other household tasks.
- Step away from the screens: If you have ever stared at a computer screen for work all day, you know how tired your eyes and brains can get. Plan a craft, science experiment or other fun activity offline.
- Creative Connections: During a time of social distancing, kids may feel isolated from their friends. Plan an online class that your child could attend with friends. After an online session, set up Facetime chats so they can talk about it.