School has looked a little different for everyone the last year or so. While some schools in your area may have opted for in-person schooling this year, many parents have decided to stay with distance and hybrid learning models.
Even if you experienced school from home last year, finding your footing as a support system for your kids in this environment can prove to be 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. Then in the evening, go over assignments they have received to help them stay focused on the tasks at hand.
Communication can also help with decompressing from each day. Simply setting aside time to ask how they are feeling can help them stay mentally and emotionally well.
Have a designated learning space
As many of us have found over these last year, working from home can feel overwhelming. The lines between your home sanctuary and your workspace are blurred if you don’t have separate them. 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 or corner of the house into a designated learning area will be incredibly beneficial to the distance and hybrid 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 accommodations you have to make can assist 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 distance and hybrid learning 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 disconnect from devices 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 around all day every day.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s how much being stuck inside can affect our mental and physical health. So, it’s important to combat that 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 was unexpected, we did learn that some families are thankful for the options of distance and hybrid learning.
With some simple tips, you and your kids can still experience a successful year learning from home!
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!