Dana – we could slightly update this post with verbiage about the Delta variant and parents in some states making the decision to choose distance learning again? I would say edit this for SEO mostly. We probably won’t run again. Thanks!
This school year is a little bit different – how is it going? Whether the schools in your area have opted for distance, hybrid, or in-person learning, finding your footing as a support system for your kids has become a bit more challenging. These tips can help effectively navigate the world of distance and hybrid learning in your home.
Communicate with your kids
Seems logical enough, right? Communication is crucial for students schooling from home in any fashion. Create a routine each morning of asking what they plan to cover in classes during that day and then, in the evening go over any assignments they may have received to help them stay focused on the tasks at hand. Communication can also help with decompressing from each day; setting aside time with your kids to ask how they are feeling, especially in this very odd and unforeseen situation, can help them stay mentally and emotionally well.
Have a designated learning space
As many of us have found over these last few months, working from home feels very overwhelming and the lines between your home sanctuary and your workspace are blurred if you don’t have space set aside for an office. These overwhelming feelings are true for students as well. Sitting at the kitchen table or working from the living room floor doesn’t create the right schooling environment. Transforming a room of the house into a designated learning area will be incredibly beneficial to the learning experience. Consider changing up the guest room or a section of the basement to make a learning oasis. Using a loan based on the equity in your home to finance any new accomodations you have to make canassist with potential financial pressures. Having a dedicated space with their own desk and comfortable chair, some great lighting, and limiting distractions like a TV, will help your kids get focused on the classes they have each day.
Find ways to reduce the effects of screen time
Students enrolled in any sort of at-home schooling are spending more and more time in front of a computer screen. This can result in digital eye strain, headaches, and overall fatigue. It is important to combat the effects of screen time in any way we can. Investing in some blue-light glasses to combat the blue-light emitting from the screens we sit in front of (TV, computer, and cellphone) can help reduce the effects of increased screen usage. You may also consider setting aside blocks of time each evening to really disconnect from devices as a family and give everyone’s eyes some rest.
Make time for physical activity
Along with reducing screen time, getting up and moving will help your kids tremendously. Having their home and school morphed into one space, it can be easy to just sit at home all day every day, without even considering taking a step outside. If 2020 has taught us anything, we know how much being stuck inside can affect our mental and physical health, so it is important to combat the desire to stay inside. Setting aside time for outdoor activities, like a walk around the neighborhood, a bike ride, a hike, or even a weekend trip filled with great outdoor adventures can aid in exercising both the body and the mind.
Although 2020 is vastly different than any of us expected, you and your kids can still experience a successful year! It might take harder work and more patience than usual, but by focusing on communicating often and prioritizing everyone’s mental and physical health, your family can have a smashing school year!