Online school is a fairly new concept, and since it’s had to be implemented so quickly, it is often baffling for both teachers and parents. The amount of time and supervision feels overwhelming and demanding, so many parents wonder if distance learning in Phoenix, AZ is even worth it. Rest assured, this time will pass and your children will be better for it. Follow these six tips to make it easier to manage:
- Assign a dedicated device: If possible, purchase a Chromebook or other mobile device that is only to be used for school. Remove social media, games and messaging apps so there are no distractions. Samsung makes affordable tablets, and Chromebooks are a favorite among those in online school. If this is not possible, install a screen time monitoring app so you can confirm children work only on school apps during classroom days.
- Create a learning space: Setting up a separate home office or studio where you cannot be disturbed likely helps with your focus when you need to concentrate on work. The same principle applies for children. Create a space just for online school, and have your child participate in the process. Even if it’s just a corner in their room, make it comfortable and ergonomically supportive, and set it up away from where kids play video games or watch television.
- Require screen breaks: Humans are not designed to be glued to blue light screens all day. Rather than spending breaks with video games or YouTube, encourage non-digital activities. This may include reading printed books, taking a walk, gardening or enjoying complex coloring books. For learning itself, request textbooks in addition to any online learning. This reduces screen dependence and uses other parts of the brain.
- Encourage online interaction: Adults discuss “doom scrolling” on social media, where they read constant bad-news headlines and learn about the latest travesty. It can be addictive even though it never helps us feel better. Children are also vulnerable to compulsive scrolling, and it’s not good for them either. Instead of scrolling, encourage them to video chat or text message with friends on social media. While it’s not the best substitute for in-person interaction, it works better than merely reading passively.
- Take breaks: Being able to learn online at home makes it tempting to keep your kid in a chair for six hours straight. But we do not even do this at school! Schedule breaks that include a “recess” outside. Set alarms that encourage kids to exercise and eat on a schedule. Since they are home, they can now take bike rides or play at a nearby park. Take advantage of these resources.
Check on your kid’s progress: If your child is working on a computer, face the monitor towards you. That way you can see if they are interested and engaged, and also whether they follow along or take notes. Once the lesson is done, ask questions. If you find your kids are not engaging, ask your teachers to see if there are better ways to keep their attention.
Pointe Schools offers distance learning at all of our campuses. Contact us today if you wish to learn more about how we manage online school in Phoenix, AZ during these challenging times.