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Tips to Make Virtual Learning a Success (or Less Stressed!)

 Tips to Make Virtual Learning a Success (or Less Stressed!)

By Tina Agonva

The new normal includes navigating virtual learning. If you’re like me and most families in Kentucky, this is our reality right now. There’s likely some confusion with technology and chances are your feelings and behaviors are being seen and felt by your child too. Here are some tips that have helped my family manage virtual learning.

Reduce Negative Emotions

The truth is that there will be issues with technology, challenges doing homework and submitting it, and managing schooltime versus downtime. If you, your child, or teen are feeling anxious, take some deep breaths and regroup. 

We’re all learning, so patience is key. If you’re helping a child with an assignment and find yourself getting frustrated, try to take a break, even if it’s only a few minutes. Doing so has helped me calmly navigate the challenges of 7th-grade math and figuring out how to properly submit kindergarten worksheets without sharing any negative emotions I have towards technology with my children.

Set and Keep a Regular Routine

Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent. Establishing routines helps lessen anxiety – even in this unpredictable time in our lives. Setting up a consistent routine and schedule, such as bedtime and wake-up time, is important for them and it also helps you manage your time at home.

-If you can, pre-make snacks and lunches to have on-hand and ready for breaks and lunchtime. This will save you time, especially if you are also working, and will save your child trips to the pantry to scavenge for food.

-Reduce distractions. Turn-off TVs, cell phones, and gaming until after school. Establish the same rules they would have if they were in a traditional classroom.

-Set aside downtime between school time and homework. Give your child sometime after school to grab a snack, connect with friends, read a book, or just relax.

Encourage Friendships 

Not being able to see their friends in person has been hard for my kids. Whether your child wants to virtually chat with a group of friends or call distant relatives, continuing to interact socially is vital to their well-being. This is also important for you. Both parents and kids can virtually gather with friends for a game night or to watch a movie. 

Provide Positive Incentives

My younger child was struggling to participate in class and so far having positive incentives has helped. Rewards can help them focus on developing new skills and motivate them to want to interact. You can slowly roll back the incentives as your child becomes more comfortable participating. I’d also like to note that some kids are simply just shy and it’s okay if they’re not willing to speak during live lessons.

Watch Your Words

Remember that during live class time, your child’s microphone may get turned on. Especially with younger children. We’ve had a few incidents of parents having adult conversations in the background not realizing they could be heard by the entire class. If you’re having a conversation make sure it is out of range of your child and the microphone to reduce distractions.

Support Physical Activity and Exercise

Physical activity and exercise are essential to your mental and physical health and can boost your immune system. You and your child can take breaks to help get some energy out. Take a walk outside, do jumping jacks, or stretch. Kids often take cues from seeing their parents engage in exercise.

Virtual learning is a challenge for children, teachers, parents, and caregivers. We might not be able to change our current situation, but we can certainly make the most of it. With positive thinking and actions, you and your child can succeed through virtual learning. Remember that this is temporary— I think!

Visit HealthyChildren.org for more tips on Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak and Age-Based Tips to Help Juggle Parenting & Working at Home During COVID-19 

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