Let’s get right to it. Virtual learning, distance learning, e-learning, online learning, hybrid learning - whatever you want to call it - isn’t working for our kids. But why?
Think about it this way. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that people NEED social interaction, especially in our early development years. And although kids are able to interact with their teachers and peers in online classes, it could never replace the emotional, intimate and one-on-one connections given in a physical setting. There is only so much your child can get from a screen!
So, where do we go from here? Although e-learning isn’t ideal for your child’s social, emotional and overall learning, we can’t lose hope. There ARE a few ways you can foster their education while improving social skills and behaviors without pulling your hair out.
It's important to first communicate with your child so that you can understand where they’re coming from and navigate these challenges alongside them. Maintaining open and honest communication with your children is KEY, especially in these times of tolerable stress.
As parents, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated when you’re balancing working from home on top of schooling from home. But before you throw in the towel, take a minute to empathize with your child. Consider:
How is online learning different for my child?
What obstacles does online learning bring?
What could I be doing differently to help my child engage more in class?
Take a moment to jot down some notes, reflect and identify with your child. Think: how can we expect our young kids to sit still in front of a screen for hours on end when we are feeling the effects of Zoom fatigue after a one-hour meeting with our boss?
Then take things a step further. Don’t be afraid to go straight to the source! (If you can) Ask your child why they can’t focus! Communicate with them. Encourage them to be honest with you about why virtual learning is giving them a hard time.
This will help you get to the root of the problem and can give you the opportunity to really listen and suggest some personalized strategies to help your child maintain focus in an online class.
Not sure where to begin? Ask things like ‘how was class today?’, ‘Do you like your teachers?’ or ‘What was your favorite/least favorite thing about your day?’.
We’ve also put together a short list of tips to help you get started with making a change in your child’s learning experience TODAY. Give a few of these a try to find what works best for your child:
1. Spend time outside! Give your child time to reconnect and recalibrate. Never underestimate the power of fresh air and exercise.
2. Find other opportunities for learning. Get creative! Anything from doing laundry with you to counting change from a piggy bank can help your child develop important skills while giving them mental stimulation that isn’t a bore.
3. Personalize their workspace. Better yet, let them do it! This allows your child to perceive learning as a fun activity that's happening FOR them not TO them. Giving students control over their education contributes to a healthier relationship between school and student. (BUT, be sure to only allow things that won’t distract your child! A toy is probably a no, but maybe an image from a show they like or watch can be a good compromise.)
REMEMBER to empathize, reflect, communicate, listen and suggest. Your child needs your support and understanding.
With these tips, you can make positive change in you and your child’s life starting right NOW! So get out there and believe in yourself! You’ve got this.
Want more personalized help? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me to find out how I can help make a change in you and your child’s life! I look forward to hearing your story!