Whether or not kids will be in the classroom this fall is still being heavily debated, but for most areas it still seems like the online classroom will continue to be the norm for students starting their fall semesters next month.
During the first experience with online education, most parents and students had to “wing it” and learn how to maximize education during the “new normal.”
Teachers also had to get creative and try new things, both in the teaching realm, and when dealing with classroom behavior issues.
With summer to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, teachers and students alike can approach round two of the remote school year with a little more preparation.
Here are some ways to help your kids stay focused outside of the classroom, so they can “enter” it more prepared and with a solid mental state for learning:
Professional sporting events have picked back up, which has been a very welcomed change for a lot of sports fans, but those leagues have billions of dollars to invest in testing and social distancing procedures.
For kids in high school, sports will still almost certainly still be on hold, as well as clubs, plays, concerts, student organizations, and things of the like.
With that, it is important to find alternate ways for your children to find social interaction.
Zoom hangouts with friends are great because kids already know how to use the technology, and with screen sharing options, kids can even watch their favorite shows “together” while being safe in their own homes.
One thing that coaches/band directors/etc. instill outside of classroom work is a sense of performance psychology that pushes them to be better, and that part is going to need to be picked up by mom and dad.
2. Keep a Schedule
Even though there is a welcomed level of fluidity with online learning, sticking to a regular schedule helps keep the mind prepared to learn.
Students should be encouraged to wake up, take a shower, and even get dressed in school gear before they have to report to their online classrooms.
Lunch breaks should involve rest and social interaction of some sort (social media counts!), and healthy food options are always a bonus!
3. Family Time
Now that the new normal is a bit more familiar, it should be easier to discuss the ins and outs with your kids.
The initial anxiety due to the overnight changes in daily life has most likely lifted from youngsters, but there are still heighted stress levels in most teens due to the overall aura of 2020 and death literally being in the air.
Let them know you’re there for them, and a little extra encouragement in the wake of a pandemic is a nice touch, too!
Certainly students aren’t the only ones experiencing trauma and uncontrollable “new norms,” and ensuring your own mental health is steady is very important when trying to ensure someone else’s is the same.
Although most parents would agree that more time with their children is a good thing, on the whole, it’s definitely tougher to find “me time” with a home-schooled student.
Taking long walks and escaping with some music and meditation can help make sure your own head stays clear and ready to help guide the youngsters in your household through another semester online.
Ultimately, the business world is very tech-centric and many companies that have gone to remote work due to necessity are realizing there are a lot of money-saving and employee-retaining benefits that come from operating remotely.
With this, even though the new normal may seem extremely strange for your kids, the ability to learn how to communicate in the digital world is a hidden silver lining for students otherwise experiencing the hardships of another semester in quarantine.