Do’s and Don’ts of Creating Distance Learning Environments
Living and going to school in the same house is not typically easy. No matter how old your kids are, it can be challenging to stay focused and do well with online school, especially when their toys, games and televisions are close by.
Here is some much-needed good news for concerned parents: by keeping the following distance learning tips in mind, you can create a learning environment that is conducive to concentration and academic success:
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Do: Invest in the Best Supplies
One of the best distance learning from home tips focuses on ensuring your young learners have all of the supplies they need at their fingertips. This not only means basics like pens, paper and books along with storage bins to help with organization; it also includes a fast internet connection to help keep the lessons from lagging. Learning from home is tough enough — it can be downright frustrating when the online connection crashes and/or the teacher’s voice is choppy due to a lackluster WiFi system. If need be, upgrade to a panoramic WiFi system that will provide the entire family with a consistent and reliable connection.
Don’t: Use a Bed as a School Desk
Yes, you want your online learners to be comfortable while attending school from home. But you don’t want them to be too cozy and relaxed, as this may cause them to nod off during class. Instead of using their beds as learning spaces, shop for a chair that your child can sit in comfortably for long periods of time, and invest in a desk that has plenty of room for their computer, books and other supplies. Ideally, the flat surface will be used only for schooling but if you need to set up at least one kiddo at the kitchen table this is understandable; just be sure there is good lighting and that you have some bins to store school materials during dinner time.
Do: Let them Decorate Their Space
Just as you probably like having photos of family members and other items on your work desk to make it feel more personal, your kids will appreciate decorating their at-home workspace. They can add their own artwork, cute erasers shaped like animals or food, photos, small stuffed animals or whatever they might need to help them stay motivated and ready to learn.
Don’t: Take a “Cookie Cutter” Approach to Your Kids
Every kid is unique and when it comes to online learning, it’s important to figure out what works best for each kiddo in your family. Rather than enforcing a strict “quiet zone” rule, keep in mind your kids’ learning preferences and realize that Jared concentrates better in silence while Joanna prefers a bit of background noise. Granted, you don’t want to have an interesting movie playing in Joanna’s room during class, but she might prefer to learn in the family room or kitchen rather than her quiet bedroom. Also, as much as possible watch your kids to see when they are more engaged in school and, if the school’s schedule is flexible, tailor their classes to their inner clocks. While many kids are more focused in the morning hours, teens may do better during the afternoons and evenings.
Distance Learning Can Be a Positive Experience
Your kids may really prefer going to school in person, and you can’t say you blame them. But for the time being, you can ensure that their distance learning environment helps to set them up for success. From the proper equipment, noise level and ability to make the space their own, your kids will do well as long as they are required to learn from home.