Going to school online is difficult enough as it is. There are a lot of distractions at home, so online learning is a challenge that many kids have right now. Nevertheless, there are many ways to make your child’s environment more conducive to online learning, such as:
1. Set up an area just for learning
From putting up learning posters to setting up a bookshelf full of educational books from the local bookshop, you can try to imitate the typical learning environment that your child has at school. Set up a desk in their room and deem as their ‘school area.’ In this way, your child will have a place in their bedroom that is dedicated to learning, an area wherein they are expected to act as if they are really at school and not just in front of a computer at home.
2. Put away toys and other distractions
Kids are easily distracted, even if they are at actual school. And if your child is taking classes at home, they can be distracted by toys, games, gadgets, and other things that they want to be playing with instead of listening to the teacher on the screen. If you want to prevent your child losing focus during online learning, keep toys and other distractions away from their designated learning area. If possible, put these potential distractions out of sight by placing them in opaque bins in the far corner of the room.
3. Limit noise distractions
Outside noise can easily distract your child and their classmates if their mic is unmuted. Whether it’s a car passing by or their sibling crying from downstairs, noises tend to make young students lose focus. Hence, you need to limit noise distractions to a minimum by keeping the windows and the door to their room closed. If you live in an incredibly noisy household, you might want to hang a thick blanket over your child’s door or walls to block some of the sounds from entering the room.
Alternatively, buy your child a noise-canceling headset that can allow them to focus solely on the lesson without audible distractions.
4. Hang a backdrop
Use a blanket or a curtain to create a makeshift backdrop for your child. Not only will this hide you from sight if you happen to walk behind your child, but it’s also a great way to limit distractions for other students in the class.
5. Ensure adequate lighting
Poor lighting can make it difficult for children to do school work properly, much less stay awake during online lessons. Ensure that your child’s bedroom is illuminated enough to avoid eye fatigue and improve mental alertness. On their desk, place a table lamp that they can use when they have to take down notes or do an activity on paper. It will help them focus as well as avoid making them feel sleepy.
6. Buy comfortable furniture
One of the major disadvantages of online learning is that children are stuck in a chair until the lessons are over. Unlike in actual school, kids don’t stand up as often, don’t play with other kids, and generally don’t move as much from their desks. This decreased mobility can affect a child’s posture and make their little bodies ache from sitting in one place for too long. Thus, buying them comfortable furniture is essential.
In addition to buying comfortable furniture, ensure that your child maintains a proper posture while sitting down. Raise the monitor to their eye level and teach them how to sit correctly on the chair. It also helps to put a pillow behind their back to make the position more comfortable. And if your child’s legs are dangling from the chair, place a block under their feet so that they can maintain a 90-90-90 degree angle posture.
7. Write a schedule
Kids thrive with routines. Hence, creating a visible schedule can make them feel more comfortable with online school. Write down their timetable on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Include breaks and reminders to go to the bathroom or eat a snack. If they are old enough, you can leave your child to follow the schedule while you do other things around the house.
Online learning is a challenge for everyone involved: the teachers, the parents, and, most importantly, the students. But as a parent, you can make things easier for everyone by creating a conducive learning environment for your child at home, starting with the strategies mentioned in this article.