If your kid will be spending more time doing virtual school or needs help focusing on homework, there are things you can do as a parent that will help them be more productive. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to replicate school in your living room — it involves altering some parts of your home into a work zone and implementing school-like habits into their day.
There are lots of resources you can find online to help guide your kid through their school day. To get started, here are a few easy things you can do to set your homeschoolers up for success.
Set Up A Study Area
Your kids deserve an organized at-home setup that will inspire them to do work. Think of it as a mini home office, but stylized for kids. Since they are already used to sitting at desks for eight hours in school, try and replicate a similar setup at home. You can do this by purchasing a new desk and chair that are comfortable for them to spend time at. Just make sure to choose a quiet place that has minimal foot traffic and distractions.
Place the desk in a designated “school corner” and give them their own space to work. Try investing in an ergonomic chair that can be adjusted to fit their comfort level. Once you have the space set up, let your kids make it their own. Get them to decorate with photos or posters, and have their school supplies neatly organized so everything they need to conquer the day is closeby. Personalizing the space will make them more eager to spend time in their school zone.
Go On a Virtual Field Trip
Pull your kid from their usual studies during their lunch hour and take them on a field trip. You might not be able to take them somewhere physically, but there are so many virtual field trips your kid can try out online. It’s an opportunity to combine learning and real life through museum-like experiences.
There are lots of institutions offering interactive online experiences for kids.¹ For example, many zoos have live webcams placed inside popular exhibits. Kids can watch pandas, monkeys, lions and other exotic animals in their habitat while learning some fun facts from the zoo’s website. They can explore other parts of the world from the comfort of their home.
Here are some virtual field trips to try out:
- Stellarium Web exploring the stars, planets and constellations²
- National Museum of Natural History virtual tours³
- 360 Cities explores panoramic views of places around the world⁴
Try Implementing A Schedule
Traditional school days are very structured and organized. If your child doesn’t have to be on Google Classroom the entire school day, implement a routine between sessions so they’re still motivated and ready to learn. This could be in the form of designated reading, educational gaming, homework or snack time. The idea is to keep their brains positively stimulated until their teacher takes over again.
Integrating break time into their schedule is important. Breaking up the day with pre-planned “brain breaks” can reduce frustration while increasing attention and productivity.⁵ Your kid is probably sitting during most of the school day, so get them moving with some physical activity to help increase brain flow to the brain.
Some easy exercises to try out are:
- Stretching and yoga poses
- Running in place
- Jumping jacks
- Snow angels on the floor
Studies show that kids can even learn more quickly after exercise, so come up with easy activities to do for five minutes that will get them to refocus for the next work session.⁶ As a parent, make sure to be aware of your kid’s schedule so you aren’t accidentally walking in during a virtual lesson.
Take School One Day At A Time
Virtual school is an adjustment for students, teachers and parents. It might take some time before your kid gets in the swing of things. That being said, don’t feel pressure to be as strict as their principal. Change up your schedule if you have to depending on what works that day, while following a loose guideline to keep everyone on track.
Here are some other helpful at-home school tips:
- Implement screen time breaks during the day
- Organize virtual study groups with classmates and friends
- Follow their teacher’s lead
- Reduce distractions
Ultimately, one of the most important things to do is keep open communication with your kids. Asking open-ended questions will give you an idea of how they’re feeling and coping with online school.⁷ Every kid is different, so learning about their individual concerns will allow you to adjust their school day according to their best interests in helping them succeed academically.