Transitioning from a physical classroom to a remote setup at home may still be a problem for many students, which is why parents need to encourage their children to form healthy habits during distance learning.
Disruptions in their daily schedule mean that they’re no longer used to the routine of going to school. Engaging in live, face-to-face interaction with their teachers and peers may not be possible in the near future. With that, parents and children are left to figure out on their own how to still practice good habits while they’re navigating distance learning. Check out these tips below.
At the start of remote learning arrangement, parents may think that their children can simply be given a laptop to attend their remote classes wherever they want to. Sure, this may be comfortable, but this certainly won’t work with all children. Some, like those with learning disabilities, for example, focus and learn better in a conducive learning environment. Whatever your child’s learning style is, it’s crucial that you help them set up a study space dedicated to their online classes.
Allow your child to pick an area at home where they’ll be comfortable, yet free from distractions. Provide them with a spacious work desk containing all the materials and resources they need for their classes — i.e. pens, pencils, folders, all arranged neatly. Choose a comfortable chair suitable for long hours of sitting so your child doesn’t strain their neck and back. They should also have access to a stable internet connection so that their classes will transpire smoothly.
Spending 10 straight hours studying may not be the most productive option for distance learners. Not only is this exhausting, but it’s also ineffective at helping them understand, retain, and process information for their upcoming exams.
This is why if your child has an upcoming exam, encourage them to maintain productivity and motivation by breaking up their study sessions.
The Pomodoro Technique, in particular, allows children to divide the time they spend studying into intervals. Instead of studying all subjects at once, children can simply focus on a single task or lesson to accomplish. They will spend 25 to 30 minutes studying until the timer sets off. You can use this 5-minute break as an opportunity to join your child for some simple physical activity. Repeat the intervals until you feel confident enough to test your child on what they’ve learned.
This study technique helps children process ideas and connect concepts together because it discourages distractions. It may also help in reducing feelings of anxiety or stress, especially for children that may feel overwhelmed when presented with huge chunks of information.
Unlike in school, children can now snack anytime they’re attending their classes in the comforts of home. But instead of just munching on sodium-laden junk food, why not feed your child nutritious snacks that can help them focus and pay attention better?
Swap their favorite bag of potato chips for healthier options like a bag of trail mix, low-sodium popcorn, yogurt, nuts, oatmeal with fruit slices, or even baby carrots. Think of other deliciously healthy snacks that you can prepare fresh. Get creative with changing up your child’s snack menu and focus on food choices that will help them feel energetic, refreshed, and focused throughout the day.
Studies have shown that inadequate sleep has been linked with a deterioration in children’s cognitive abilities. Sleep deprivation, in particular, can impair children’s ability to plan, organize, and solve problems.
Another healthy habit to promote is to make sure that your child is able to get adequate and comfortable sleep at night. For example, children 6-12 years old are advised to get around 9-12 hours of sleep, while older children need only 8-10 hours.
Although there’s nothing new about getting proper sleep, this is one of the most overlooked practices for distance learners. Help your child improve their sleeping habits by reducing screen time and participating in light exercises during the day.
Lack of socialization among children and their peers may lead to feelings of loneliness — an unsurprising fact brought about by this pandemic. Children are no longer able to visit their campus and interact with other kids their age. Instead of spending a few minutes of after-school play and socialization, they’re left with not much to do but browse the web or watch videos mindlessly.
Despite the situation, you have to make sure that your child gets their daily dose of socialization. After a long school week, for example, set up playdates with their friends’ parents doing fun online activities, like watching movies together, playing online board games, or simply catching up.
Socializing can be a great way for your child to not just get to know their classmates more, but also to develop important speech or language skills useful for their distance learning.
Students of distance learning need all the support they can get from their parents. The adjustment from physical to virtual classrooms has certainly not been easy for both. Children’s study routines have been disrupted, while parents face the challenge of ensuring their child can still perform academically well amidst the setup.
Fortunately, parents can ensure that their children form healthy habits for distance learning with their dedicated support. Even the simplest actions, like giving them their own study space, facilitating social activities or making sure the children get enough sleep can already go a long way to become healthier and better students.