Although online learning has been around for a while now, many parents and children understandably continue to find this situation difficult. The differences of learning at home versus at school are stark, and many parents struggle to create the right environment for learning at home. Here are some tips to help make the experience as productive and stress-free as possible:
Set up an area dedicated to learning
This isn’t possible for every household, of course. But setting up the environment so that school life is separate to play and relaxation can help you both focus and relax better.
Structure your day
Helping your child plan and schedule what they want to achieve each day can help avoid that dreaded option paralysis, where you have many things to do but can’t commit to starting any of them.
Be realistic about your child’s attention span
Some students have a shorter attention span than others – and that’s okay! If your child learns best in smaller chunks, then allow them more frequent, shorter breaks so they can recharge.
Get some sunlight and some exercise
Our bodies (and minds) need sunlight and activity to stay healthy and motivated, so make sure this is part of the daily schedule for you and your child.
Children have lost one of the most motivating factors of going to school – seeing and interacting with their peers. Some children start to feel sad or anxious when they don’t see their friends often; encourage them to keep up with their friendships in whatever way they can.
Manage your expectations
Learning in an online environment at home is difficult! It’s very unlikely that your child will achieve the same level of productivity and focus at home (although occasionally some children prefer it!). Remember this is temporary and will never be perfect.
Get to sleep!
It’s easy to change your sleep schedule in lockdown. You and your children will probably also find yourselves on your phones or other technology late at night. It’s often best to keep your sleep routine regular, even if you don’t have to get up as early to get to school anymore. Try to avoid electronics an hour before bed.
Clinical Psychology Registrar
Breakthrough Psychology Practice
About the author:
David is passionate about supporting clients who are struggling with difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviours at school and at home. Please feel free to call to make an appointment with David on (02) 8978 0600.