Distance learning is a scary dilemma for many parents, students, and teachers. On one hand, parents want kids to get the best education possible; on the other hand, they can’t send their kids to school. Parents have to find the best middle ground to get their students the best education possible. There’s many ways that parents can help students prepare their students to thrive in an online school environment. Here are our takes on the top 5 ways that teachers and parents recommend approaching online learning.
Creating an Orderly Learning Space to do Schoolwork
A dedicated workspace for the student’s learning can heavily boost their productivity and efficiency in schoolwork. The first step is to make sure you’re not doing homework with distracting electronics (i.e. TV, Cell Phone, etc…) Eliminating distractions and having a habit of working without those distractions at a dedicated space will help you become more productive and focused as you get through your schoolwork. Next, having an organizational system set up will greatly benefit you when you are trying to get all your tasks done in a timely manner. Have room for your books, computer, pens, paper, and other supplies on your desk. Create folders on your computer to keep your schoolwork organized, and use a calendar (online or on paper) to keep track of assignments and important due dates and class tines. Being organized, while maintaining a dedicated space free of distractions can have a huge impact on learning and productivity. Lastly, always plan times to give yourself breaks throughout the day, spending hours on your computer completing assignments without leaving your desk can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Avoid slowing down by going for a walk or doing something fun every few hours.
Start a Meaningful Side Project
A side project can be really good for older students (i.e. high schoolers, college students). If you are able to get into a productive headspace where you can manage your time to the point where you can take on more and more projects, this can be very helpful in defeating quarantine brain drain. Side projects build skill sets outside of what you are learning in school. For older students, this can look great on your college applications, and even internship applications. No one loves looking at an internship position that requires years of experience that you can’t have because you need an internship to get that experience. Side projects can be really helpful here because it shows hiring managers that you have experience and you have the leadership skills and drive to be a self starter and take on projects and learning experiences on your own.
Don’t Shy Away from Asking for Help
I know the first thought that most students have when struggling with something is to ask their friends how to do it. This habit should be encouraged when in online school. Students have a hard time speaking to teachers especially when certain teachers only check their emails at certain times a day. It is much easier to arrive at the solution of the problems together with your peers. Now, this is not to say “don’t ask your teachers”. Teachers at the end of the day are the ones actually teaching you the material. Who better to ask them when all else fails? Some students do homework over Zoom or FaceTime. Try this out — see how well you do homework on FaceTime, and how well you do without it. Some students do better with, some without.
Set Time Aside Everyday to Read
This isn’t new information, but reading daily helps improve critical thinking skills. This will help soften the blow of quarantine brain drain. There’s something to be learned from everything you read. Obviously, not a comic book. Comic books are fun, but they’re not a read. They’re an observation. The point of reading is to get a stronger understanding of the inner workings of the english language and everything else that the author spent years learning to write the book. An average sized book/novel is ~300 pages. Even reading just 10 pages a day, you can get through one book a month. Imagine the amount of knowledge you can get from reading 12 books in a year.
Be Sure to Exercise
Oftentimes, we can get thrown right into all the work we have to do with school and don’t focus on our health. Sitting all day slouched over doing work in the same house can have detrimental effects on someone’s body. Be sure to do whatever is possible within the social distancing guidelines, and available space and resources to exercise or be active at home. Try different things, such as, a 7 minute workout or go for a walk. Do what works for you, have fun with it.
These are only a few tips to help students prepare themselves for success in online school. Different things work for different people, but if you don’t try out different things, you might not find the best solution. This will take a lot of practice, but this is a good skill to have.