In addition to dealing with the complexities of entertaining and keeping children safe during a pandemic, parents now have to worry about a whole new beast: virtual learning.
PREPARE YOUR KIDS FOR SUCCESS:
Every kid is unique and learns at their own pace. Some kids will thrive off of virtual learning while others will struggle with feeling overwhelmed by excessive screen time and environmental distractions.
It’s important to find out what works best for YOUR child. Here are some ways you can make virtual learning a little easier on your kids:
- Have a consistent schedule where kids can more easily transition in and out of school time: Try to build as much structure as possible by setting regular times for meals, schoolwork, and other activities; however, allow for flexibility in the schedule. Give children a break if they are feeling frustrated, anxious, or overstimulated.
- Set up a designated “classroom” space: Whether this is an actual office space in your home or a desk in the kitchen/bedroom, there needs to be an area specifically for your child to learn.
- Reduce distractions by limiting the use of devices that aren’t being used for education: If smartphones and tablets are around your child, they are more likely to use them! Avoid the distraction all together by placing them in a separate room. Having the TV on during the day or having favorite toys around can also make it difficult to focus. Set up a quiet, clutter-free workspace for your child.
- Provide “brain breaks” in between learning: Studies have shown that higher levels of screen time are associated with a variety of health harms, such as obesity and depression while small amounts are not harmful and may have some benefits.
- Provide positive feedback: Children often receive reassurance and reinforcement from teachers and counselors throughout the day. Creating a reward system can help maintain motivation and enthusiasm for learning! Have fun with it — put a checkmark, star, or sticker on work assignments or allow extra playtime at the end of the day! Verbal praise is also highly effective and important.
- Encourage healthy food choices: When you eat better, you feel better! Sugary drinks, refined carbs, and highly processed foods can all have negative results on your brain which impacts your memory and mood. Foods like fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, can promote energy levels, alertness, and focus throughout the day! Adding nutrient-rich vitamins to your daily regime can also be a helpful energy booster. We’ve partnered with Juice Plus+ to bring you the products we have tried and trust for immune support, building, and restoration as well as your overall well-being — which is especially important right now to combat COVID-19. Juice Plus+ products are made from the juice powder concentrates and oils from more than 40 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. There are options for the whole family, including the fruit and vegetable chewables for kids that deliver whole food based nutrition from 20 different fruits, vegetables, and grains in a tasty, soft chewable form! You can also read our recent blog post on boosting your immune system for more ideas.
- Be flexible and patient: If you find yourself getting frustrated throughout the day, the odds are, your child is experiencing the same thing! We are all adjusting to this new normal, and need the grace to make mistakes and learn from them. Watch what works for your child and what doesn’t. Set aside extra time to work on more difficult subjects and encourage your child to work independently on things that come more easily to them.
Most importantly, remember: this won’t last forever! There will be bumps in the road, but that’s okay. Try to keep a positive mindset — we’re all in this together.
For more tips on creating a safe, ergonomic space for you and your child, check out our previous blog for everything you need to know to survive telework.