Staying Healthy at Home: Online Learning for Kids
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many school districts are offering online education for kids. This presents students with a completely new set of challenges from the conventional classroom setting.
To reduce the stress related to this unfamiliar learning experience, it’s important to prepare children properly, both physically and emotionally. Set your kids on course for smarter, healthier learning by helping them acquire the tools, resources, and habits to succeed.
How to Prepare Your Kids for Online Education
Creating the right learning environment is essential. Establish a work area that provides easy access to a computer, space to take notes, and a minimum of distractions. To achieve the latter, it’s important to separate your child’s school activity areas from those used for sleep, recreation, and other activities.
Make sure the learning space contains all the necessary tools. Since your child will need access to learning websites for kids, check your Internet connection before the school year begins. You should also know who to contact for assistance, if needed. In addition, help your child keep track of important links, such as Google Classroom, the school’s recommended learning websites for kids, and other fun learning websites.
There are a number of sites specifically devoted to online learning for kids. Consider one or more of the following free learning sites for your kids:
- Infinite Campus
- Math XL
- Khan Academy
Developing a Routine and Tracking Progress
Your child may find it easier to adjust to this new situation by sticking to a normal school routine. Have your child schedule blocks of time for classroom activities, homework, and studying that are similar to those kept while in school.
At the same time, children should be encouraged to take breaks once they start to lose focus, even if it’s just to get up and move around for a while. Physical activity is healthy for both the body and mind and it is important to ensure children are able to get outside to play and exercise.
While school and sports may still be undecided, it is just as equally important to have your child be evaluated for an annual school or sport physical to ensure your child is healthy and physically prepared to participate in sports and activities once in-person schooling resumes. Learn more about School and Sports Physicals or find your nearest MD Now location to come in and get checked out today.
One of the trickiest parts of online learning for kids can be keeping track of assignments. To reduce stress during an already stressful time, show your kids how to set reminders, and make certain they check every morning for approaching deadlines.
Have them break large projects into easy to complete steps. This way, they will gain a sense of accomplishment while making progress toward a larger goal. To encourage goal completion, set up a rewards system. Rewards might include additional phone time or a healthy snack.
Encourage Communication with Other Classmates
If your child encounters a problem with an assignment, have them check with other classmates to see whether they can offer guidance or have similar concerns. In addition to possibly solving the problem, this contact helps students stay socially connected.
Keep in mind that online education for kids is new to most teachers, too. They will lack the usual visual references to tell them when a student is struggling. This means you’ll need to work harder to make the teacher aware of any concerns. For example, it’s important to let teachers know if students can’t access the necessary course materials.
Remaining Socially Connected
Without the usual classroom setting, kids can easily feel isolated. It’s important to help them find ways to stay socially connected while maintaining a healthy distance.
The National PTA recommends setting up video visits and play dates, or planning game and movie nights. Game site, Pogo, allows kids to play popular board games like Yahtzee and Monopoly online.
If you have a Netflix subscription, consider hosting a movie night, and having kids watch together. Netflix Party, combined with a free Google Chrome extension, allows synchronized video playback so that kids can watch and discuss movies together.
If You Need Additional Help
Although this new learning environment may require some adjustment, with a bit of foresight, you can prepare your child to succeed.
Keep in mind, however, that times of crisis, like the one we’re facing now, can have effects on a child’s mental and emotional well-being. Help your child find the right support to build resiliency.
For any unexpected urgent care needs that may come up during this time such as broken bones, cuts, scrapes, wounds, allergies and more, MD Now is here to help! To find your nearest location, click here.