With a few weeks of distance learning under our belts, many are feeling overwhelmed with managing their student’s new schooling program alongside working from home, everyday life and/or caring for additional family members or friends.
With that in mind, below are some distance learning tricks to keep your student’s classroom success thriving in this new digital space.
Whether you feel confident managing it all or like you’re struggling to stay above water, we hope these tips help you feel a little more prepared and a lot less stressed. We’re all doing the best we can to navigate this novel time, and helping each other get through it however we can is what’s most important.
1. Maintain a routine
Schedules help students focus and stay organized. According to a recent New York Times article, children also learn most easily when they know what to expect. Just as many of us are missing the continuity and routine of our normal day-to-day, so are students.
Whether mapped out in colorful paper on the wall or jotted down in a notebook, outlining a schedule for each day of the week puts regularity front and center and anxiety on the back burner.
2. Designate a work space
When working from home, many experts recommend establishing a designated work space to avoid distractions, improve productivity, enforce work/life balance and more. The same could be said for your student’s distance learning environment: a designated learning space(s) is key.
According to LA Parent, creating a separate, uncluttered, and quiet area for school work allows students to focus and succeed in distance learning studies. Whether different areas of the same room (i.e. desk vs. play mat vs. bed) or separate areas throughout your home, this mental (and physical) separation between school, play and rest is a game changer.
3. Take breaks
With the boundary between work and home and school and home becoming blurred, taking breaks is as critical as ever when it comes to increased productivity, boosted creativity, strong mental health and more. In fact, U.S. News & World Report identifies a 5- or 10- minute break each hour as key to being your most productive self for the other 50-55 minutes in the hour.
Scheduling breaks into your student’s daily routine can not be underestimated. These moments of pause allow them to not only burn off that extra energy, but also soak in the mental sharpening, productivity boosting benefits short breaks throughout the day have been proven to have. Win, win!
4. Set goals
Goal setting has always been a motivator for students, but it proves especially important in this new educational landscape.
Achievable, specific goals keep students engaged in the distance learning process – sometimes the biggest challenge of them all (3P Learning). Further, goals connect students to their classmates, teachers and larger academic dreams. They enable students to feel a part of their classroom and school community, even digitally.
5. Celebrate every win
This is a period of adjustment for all of us – students, teachers, parents and families. Days when students struggle to follow their routine, when parents feel like absolutely nothing got done, when just eating, breathing and being feels like an accomplishment, are all part of it.
Throughout this distance learning journey, it’s important to celebrate the wins (big or small!) at the end of every day. Be kind to yourself and others, recognizing that as long as we’re doing our best, that’s what counts.
Not every day will feel like a success, but there is success in every day.