COVID-19 has changed the face of education — possibly forever. Administrators, teachers, and students are all learning that it’s possible to learn at home. The atmosphere is certainly different, but with the right tools, you can bridge the gap between the classroom and the home. Transitioning to online learning doesn’t have to be difficult — it’s quite easy as long as all parties are on board.
The most important aspect of online learning is having the appropriate software or interface. It should be easy to navigate for both teachers and students. Plus, parents will need access as well. Since everyone’s technological ability differs, one that’s straightforward is best. Companies like Curriki.org consider these factors and create a framework that everyone can work with, regardless of skill or ability.
Setting Up a Rigid Structure
Let’s face it, many kids succeed in school because of their rigid structure. They’re at specific desks with a teacher guiding them through lessons. While there may be a few kids here and there who are disruptive, most pay attention to what’s being taught. Enter the digital classroom and you no longer have this rigidity. Instead, there are distractions at home: toys, parents, siblings, and pets, to name a few. Time management here is important as is setting up a distraction-free station where they can work and listen to live lessons.
If you can set up an individual room, that would be best. Dedicate the space to learn, put in a bookshelf, and a reliable computer atop a sturdy desk. Make sure all supplies are readily accessible, including pens, pencils, paper, and calculators. It should be within your children’s reach. Combined, the space and structure will help kids focus.
Keep in Touch With Teachers
With online schooling, a lot of the responsibility falls on the parents. For this reason, it’s a good idea to build a relationship with the teacher or teachers your child has for his or her courses. There are going to be times when you need to reach out, so developing that relationship early on is important.
Engage With Your Kids
Just like you would when they come home from in-person classes, it’s essential to do so with online schooling, maybe even more so. Keep up with their grades, make sure they’re completing their homework, and above all, make sure they’re comfortable with the material. If they’re struggling, you can reach out to their teacher (see above) and even offer help yourself, if you know the subject matter.
Involved parents make for more successful children. Be sure to boost them up when they do a good job and gently encourage them when they get a lower grade. Positive reinforcement is necessary and it has a positive effect on children when they’re not afraid to come to talk to you about their performance.
Yes, most parents had the opportunity to become familiar with the changes when schools started shutting down in March. However, this is still very new territory for schools as they work to implement new cleaning procedures and strategies to keep kids and staff safe. There are going to be mishaps, there are going to be frustrations, and this is okay. The important thing is to work together as a united front and make the best possible decision for your children.
The transition to online learning won’t come without its hiccups and bumps, but over time it should get easier. There are many effective solutions out there if you just know where to look. The hope is that after this school year, things will return to a more normal setting, but there are no guarantees. Becoming familiar with and overcoming the struggles now sets you up for the future.
Chin Cullin has only been working as a journalist for just a few short years. Chin attended a technical school while still in high school where he learned a variety of skills, from digital design to coding. Apart from being a contributor to the site, Chin also helps keep Henri Le Chat Noir up and running as our webmaster.