How To Ensure Your Child Gets The Most Out Of Their Distance Learning Experience
by Jori Hamilton
With the fall school semester upon us, whether you’re homeschooling out of choice or necessity, it’s probably looking a lot different than it did this time last year. But that doesn’t mean that learning from home can’t be a rewarding experience for your little scholar — and for you.
In fact, with some planning, time, and ingenuity, the remote learning environment can offer opportunities that even the most successful on-ground courses cannot.
After all, remote learning can be the ultimate in student-centered learning, customized to your child’s goals and needs. You just have to have a strategy, set your priorities, and make it so. This article provides the best tips and tricks for making the new semester online the best one yet!
Pick Your Battles
One of the first things you need to do to set your student up for online learning success is to take a breath and set some goals. Even the best and most experienced teachers can’t teach everything they’d perhaps like to teach in the course of a single semester.
Know that no class is perfect, no teacher is perfect, no learning is perfect, and you and your children won’t be perfect in your remote learning endeavors either. So work with your child’s teachers to set your priorities and establish some unique learning goals for your child this term.
Once you have those goals in place, establish a strategy for getting there. For example, create a daily and weekly schedule and stick to it, and treat late work as it would be treated in the traditional classroom: as an anomaly to be proactively addressed, quickly rectified.
In other words, the goal is to keep your child moving forward. Work with them to ensure they’re accomplishing clear and specific learning milestones, just as they would be expected to do in the physical classroom.
Set Your Victory Plan
To help your child get through this online semester, you need to approach it strategically. You have to be a tactician of your child’s success, and that begins by setting the stage for victory. Literally.
Create a designated workspace and ensure that your child will have everything they need close at hand. Ensure that the space is well organized and uncluttered, including removing anything that might be too much of a distraction, or too much of a temptation.
After all, it can be hard enough to get, and hold, the little scholar’s attention when they’re in the classroom. How much harder must it be to focus when they have all the comforts, and diversions, of home around them?
That also means resisting your own temptations when trying to construct your child’s ideal home classroom.
You might be inclined to rush out and load up on all the latest technology, showering your kid with the latest educational software, the highest of the high-end devices — but you’re not going to do them, or yourself, any good if you end up blowing your credit rating on gadgets your kids don’t really need and probably won’t even use.
Better to stick to your budget, build your FICO score, and get your family credit-worthy for those big expenses to come.
Know When To Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em
Good teachers know that winning the war sometimes means sacrificing a few battles. So for the sake of your own sanity, and to ensure that your child isn’t miserable in the learning process, you need to be prepared to be flexible.
There will just be days when your child is tired, or they’re not feeling good, or they’re just not able to be as focused and productive as you’d like them to be. When that happens, don’t panic, and don’t lose your cool. Instead, roll with it. Figure out what your child needs and get creative. After all, no one knows your kid better than you do.
Importantly, have a backup plan at the ready and go with it. For instance, if your kid is feeling irritable and restless, get them outside to work off a little energy. Best of all, you don’t have to take a learning loss for such a day. Instead, use the opportunity to build in a little impromptu teaching in the great outdoors.
For example, you might take your kid for a nature walk, using your mobile device to research the plants and insects you spot along the way. Or you can invest in one of the countless non-techy learning toys on the market today, such as the StompRocket, which gets your kid moving and having fun while they learn STEM concepts like force, momentum, and velocity.
It is possible for your little distance learner to receive an exceptional education at home. It just requires a little strategy, a dash of creativity, and a boatload of patience. Good luck!
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer from the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to health and wellness, productivity, eco-friendly living, and child development. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
*Photos courtesy of Unsplash