After the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset changed the landscape of education, many families chose virtual learning for their children. The change from in-person to virtual learning has been a struggle for many families. Students, teachers, and parents are facing many obstacles as they navigate the challenges of learning online. Let’s face it, many teachers, students, and parents weren’t prepared for virtual learning when it was thrust on them at the beginning of the pandemic. However, virtual learning isn’t new, and some companies offer amazing ways to learn that are proven effective. It’s just about knowing what’s available out there.
The challenges include accessing the right technology, student engagement, minimizing distractions, and maintaining a schedule. If you need a little boost to help guide your student through virtual learning, you have come to the right place. You are certainly not alone!
Virtual learning does not have to be scary or stressful. With a few simple tips, you can make learning from home fun for you and your child!
Before we can give you tips to guide your child through virtual learning, we need to establish that there are tons of outlets for virtual learning. If your school is going virtual, don’t be afraid to quickly search Anything Academic for more resources to supplement their study. This can be the key to making sure your student stays ahead.
Create the Optimal Learning Space
Many students struggle with learning from home because they do not have the perfect space dedicated to school. The ideal learning space should be devoted to schooling and be free of distractions. Creating a relaxing, peaceful learning space away from the distractions of siblings, pets, and television will help your student get into a headspace optimal for learning.
Create a personalized learning space with your child. Let your student help by creating art to hang in the area. Allowing your student to create their own space will help them feel more comfortable and excited about their learning environment.
The learning space should have all the resources and materials the student will need to participate in their learning activities. Equip your learning space with plenty of extra papers, pens, and other school supplies that are ready when your student needs them. Finally, be sure to equip your learning space with a charging station for all technology necessary to succeed in virtual learning.
Take the Show on the Road
Just like being in the classroom can be monotonous, students learning at home can get cabin fever too! However, you have the opportunity to shake it up anytime. Don’t be afraid to take learning on the road. Sometimes a change of pace can make all the difference.
Many public parks offer free wi-fi. You can bring your laptop and books and go outside! The fresh air and change of scenery can help maintain your student’s good mental health. Libraries are another great place to change it up a bit. If you’re able, many hotels offer learning areas and, in some cases, facilitators, where students can get their work done and then enjoy a vacation. Virtual learning involves a lot of screen time but getting creative can offset it. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Practice Independence When Using Technology
Technical issues will always be a problem when virtual learning. These technical issues can create stress in your student and anxiety for you. Using learning platforms can be a struggle for anyone.
Reduce your student’s anxiety about using technology by practicing logging in, submitting assignments, and sending messages to the teacher for guidance. If your student can independently perform these tasks, this will reduce stress and anxiety for both you and your student.
If the internet goes out, have a backup plan. From a Starbucks or Panera trip to taking a mental break and heading outside, finding solutions is an excellent lesson in problem-solving itself.
Navigate Classroom procedures and Participating in Class
Learning and classroom procedures will be different while going to school online. Contact your student’s teacher to ensure that your student knows what is expected of them when asking for help, participating in live classroom discussions, and asking for feedback on work and assignments.
Create or Adhere to a Schedule, but be Flexible
Many virtual learning classrooms will include live classes that adhere to a tight schedule. Your student will need to be present for these live classes at the same time every day.
Make sure your student is up, fed, clothed, and ready to learn at the same time every day. Creating a morning routine will enhance engagement and increase your student’s learning outcomes.
Schedules and routines are essential but remember to be flexible.
Sometimes your student will need a brain break. It is necessary to take frequent breaks. Have a healthy snack. Give your student plenty of opportunities to stand up, stretch, or exercise between lessons.
Communicate Often with Your Student’s Teacher
Your student’s teacher is your most important resource. Keep in close contact with your student’s teacher. If you or your student are not clear on how to complete an assignment, contact your student’s teacher to ask questions.
The teacher wants your student to learn the content. Reach out to them, and they will provide you with resources to help your student meet the standard.
Get Interested in What They Are Learning
The best way to guide your student through virtual learning is to get interested in their lessons. Talk with your student. Ask them to tell you about what they are learning.
A quick search on Anything Academic can provide field trips and extracurricular activities that can supplement their learning. Communicate with their teacher consistently, and then do a quick search to see what’s available near you to complement their studies and give them a new experience.
Know Your Academic Strengths and Seek Support for Your Weaknesses
If you are a history scholar, you will feel confidant that you can support your student in study sessions. If you struggle with algebra, but you know your student will be taking algebra in the upcoming semester, arrange a tutor to help support them. Anything Academic can help you find a virtual or in-person tutor to supplement their needs.
Assess their learning at every step of the way. Ask them probing questions, give gentle corrective feedback often, and seek guidance from the teacher if they still struggle with learning new concepts.
Help Your Student Develop a Growth Mindset
Your student needs to understand that they will face challenges when attending school online. Rather than expecting perfection, help your student develop a growth mindset.
Make small academic goals and work hard to meet them. Determine what you want to see your student accomplish and set small, achievable goals. Goalsetting will help your students build confidence and increase engagement.
Teach your student that mistakes are just stepping-stones to success. Set goals and challenges and support your student as they persevere to meet their goals.
Virtual learning can be a challenge, but if you follow these simple steps, you can make learning from home fun and engaging for you and your student!