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Last Updated on February 6, 2021 by Arif Chowdhury
Certainly, we are facing one of the greatest calamities of our time. As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis continues all across the globe, it is very difficult for the government to reopen schools, colleges & universities. Therefore, relying heavily on virtual learning is one of the best solutions for now.
However, a virtual learning platform is a completely new environment that young students may need some time to cope with. Not just the platform itself is new, but also the whole scenario of staying at home is an additional challenging situation. Though adults can somehow cope with it, yet young ones always need some extra care in these trying times.
In school or college teachers usually take care of students, however, in virtual learning platforms, it’s simply not possible. Thus, it is the parents who must play the role of a teacher to guide their children as this will help them to achieve academic success easily & faster. In this article, I will show you how to help your children to cope with a virtual learning platform easily with 8 simple yet smart ways.
Method 1: Help them to stay focus
According to a 2019 study, people tend to spend around 144 minutes every day on social media. It’s more than 2h every day. And for children, this number is more than 144 minutes. Not just social media but especially YouTube is very attractive for children. If it is leisure time then spending on these channels won’t affect much unless they use a mobile phone, tab, and laptop. These devices use a battery that usually emits radiation that harmful if the user spends an extended time with it.
As in the current situation, children had to spend most of their time with these devices for virtual learning, so your responsibility is to control this timetable as much as possible. You can save them from harmful radiation as well as help them to stay focused on their study by limiting their device uses after schooling time. Not only that, when they study keep an eye on what they are doing with the device. For best practice, lock other apps when they study i.e. Facebook, YouTube, etc. so they can’t be distracted by those channels even if they wanted to.
Method 2: Frequent mental break
You have to keep in mind that this is not physical schooling. Staying in front of a screen for a long time may cause various types of health problems including depression & obesity.
To bypass this issue, some children may have to take a break from virtual learning more frequently than others. It completely depends on the person though, however as a parent you should always keep an eye on his/her health condition. Some children may not say it out loud, but it doesn’t mean that he feels comfortable with it.
According to Linda Carling associate researcher at John Hopkins University, children may need to take a quick break after every 5 to 25 minutes of screen time. Not only that, some physical exercise is one of the best ways to reduce depression & obesity. One more thing, sometimes for young children it’s better if they do their schooling while standing in front of their screen, this condition may help them to focus on their given task.
Method 3: Efficient time management is the key
Since the pandemic crisis started, our regular time table has completely changed. We may be able to cope with it but children need extra care for it. It is best to maintain the same time table they had before. Some school systems may encourage children to wear a uniform in virtual class as they always did in school. This way it helps children to maintain previous rules & regulation even at home.
However, a school cannot do everything from a remote location. As a parent you have to maintain it. For example, wake them up & make sure they finish their breakfast early in the morning just like they did before then prepare them for school time. Not just wearing a uniform but also maintaining the same quiet environment just like school. It is best to separate the room, so you can maintain a noiseless environment.
After school time is over, help them to focus on their homework. Don’t forget to do physical exercise as your children cannot go to the school playground. You have to give them more time as you did before, as you are doing parenting as well as teaching.
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Method 4: Encourage them with positive feedback
It is always the best way to encourage children with positive feedback. Sometimes if you can encourage them enough, they will be able to do almost an impossible task from their level. The only thing you have to remember is this – don’t overdo it & do it in the right way, otherwise, things will be out of control.
Let me clear this up for you. For example, you can teach your child to finish their regular homework in time. And if they do it properly according to your instruction you will reward them with their favorite delicious food or chocolate. Sometimes a simple hug & smile can be a great reward depending on what your child desires. And it is your task to find out.
Making simple things interesting is also a smart way to encourage them. You can challenge them, let’s see who can memorize this faster? Whoever succeeds first, will receive a new comic book. As you can see, this is an excellent way to make a boring task funny & enjoyable.
However, I said don’t overdo it. For example, don’t give them something that they will get addicted to, like watching YouTube or browsing social media for too long. You should always limit this type of entertainment for your children.
Method 5: Give them more time than usual
It’s so obvious, as they stay home with you now more than ever, they will expect more time from you. Not only hanging around with them but also they might need to solve their regular homework. If you can lend them a hand, it will not only encourage them to study more but also help you to understand them deeply. Sometimes you may have some important task to complete but try to give priority to your children first, do your work later at night or sometime else.
Virtual learning perhaps could be a blessing for us, if we know how to use it properly. Maybe COVID-19 forced us to stay at home but consider it as a perfect opportunity as you & your family now have a chance to get closer to each other. Take this situation as an advantage and build a strong relationship with your child. Help them in every aspect you can. As this will be a treasure for you & for them for the rest of your life.
This could be the greatest challenge for you as a parent. As your child is no longer visiting school premises, therefore, he/she has no physical interaction with his teachers & friends. He cannot play with them anymore, perhaps only voice & video communications. This is a problem that cannot be replaced with anything.
There is no alternative to the playground, maybe they can enjoy computer games but it has to be limited for the sake of their health issues. They may communicate with their friends using the device however, device use has to be limited as well.
The best practice is – try to arrange a physical meeting with their friends. But make sure to take all the precautions. Perhaps you could connect other devices with smart TV thus, your child can communicate with their friends through video chat & also can stay far away from devices.
Method 7: Keep regular communication with teachers
Try to connect with your child’s teacher regularly, thus you will be able to learn important things about your child. Perhaps, he/she needs more attention from you or he is not serious in his virtual classroom. You will only be able to learn this if you keep in close communication with teachers.
Adult children can take care of themselves but young ones sometimes need customized care from both parents & teachers. As a parent, you have to make things easy for your child as well as teachers. For example, perhaps your child cannot keep up with regular homework due to his sickness or other things. If you arrange a meeting with the teacher & set things up at a different time then it will be easy for teachers as well to manage his/her students’ progress easily.
Method 8: Children who needs special cares
Finally, some children need special care from their teachers. Those are called the Individualized Education Program (IEP). This could be difficult for you to handle by yourself. Best to contact school & learn how to deal with it properly. As it is hard for teachers as well to maintain proper regulation through online class.
Sometimes, the IEP team will give some manuals or short courses to properly handle your child’s education from home. You have to be patient and do extra care for your child. Follow the instruction from the IEP team & do your best to help him out.
This pandemic scenario not only forced us to stay at home but also encouraged us to stay connected with our family. Build a close relationship with your child, if it is not possible before. Perhaps your close attention is the only thing he/she needed all this time. Try to find out & do your best as a parent to guide your child towards success.