For many parents, online learning is an uncomfortable and strange shift in learning. It’s new and may have even felt unexpected, but online learning offers parents and students newfound convenience, accessibility, and flexibility that doesn’t come with in-person learning. Online courses taken outside of school time (like enrichment learning programs such as virtual art classes) give students a chance to explore their interests further when they would probably be watching YouTube, gaming, or on social media. It’s the perfect solution for modern families with busy schedules.
Are you a parent that’s struggling with the shift or looking for ways to help your child focus in an online setting? Guide your children through creating a work environment and routine for optimal online learning. Here are our top 7 tips on getting the most out of virtual learning.
1 - Build Healthy Learning Habits
Most online learning classes for kids are synchronous and live, which means that students are expected to be at a class at a certain time, but from the comfort of your home. Virtual students don’t have to miss classes and can learn from ANYWHERE. With the chaos of life, this provides students with consistency and healthy habits. Children who stay with their parents on alternating weekends can still consistently attend the same classes, as can students whose families travel or live abroad. In other words, students are no longer limited by their location! Guide your children through making online learning a regular part of their life so they can translate that consistency to other areas as they get older. By creating a daily routine that includes online learning, children can develop positive life skills and feel safe, while reducing the stress of commuting!
2 - Create Comfortable, Organised Spaces
One of the benefits of online learning is that it can be done from home. Help students stay focused by creating a designated work space that is both comfortable and functional. Working from bed may cause lazy habits and is bad for posture, so setting up a work space with a desk can help students feel ready for the day. You can even decorate it in ways that encourage learning like a whiteboard, a comfortable chair and colourful supplies. Also consider good lighting and a separate station for art and creative subjects. A webcam with a cover is a great feature to add so that students have the option to interact on screen and share their progress with their teacher, but can also choose privacy when they want. If your child moves between parents’ homes or is with you on vacation, you can set up a travel kit with all of their learning necessities so they can learn from anywhere!
3 - Access to Safe and Honest Websites
Kids are naturally curious and often spend a lot of their time browsing online without the presence of guiding professionals. This can sometimes be harmful for children, since not all information online is good or true. To prevent this, some parents might consider setting up parental controls or being aware of how to block inappropriate apps, games and media from their browser. Having guided online lessons with professionals and trained teachers ensures that kids continue to learn safely on their own, stay motivated, and get the proper tools and guidance. Having trusted teachers or mentors who are not their parents offers students additional support/guidance without the pressure, or sometimes judgement, of asking their parents.
4 - Limit Distractions
Learning is most difficult when it is accompanied by distractions. Although all forms of technology can’t be eliminated while learning online, try to encourage children to silence their notifications so that they can start forming good online etiquette from an early age! Younger children may need some assistance in the initial setup, but after that, they should be trusted to learn on their own with minimal supervision and distractions from parents if they’re being supervised by their teacher. Make their comfortable space one that is free from clutter and noise to promote learning. A benefit of online learning is that you can personally tailor how your child consumes information and what they have around them while they do!
5 - Movement
Sitting for long periods of time is hard for everyone, but especially children. They can become bored, antsy, and even frustrated while trying to learn for long periods of time. USA Today reveals that students work best when they can take breaks that involve movement or fun activities. It’s not just healthy for the body, but for the mind too. Encourage your children to take these necessary breaks so that when they return to class they are attentive and ready to learn! Try going on a walk, doing some stretches, or playing at a park as a helpful and healthy break!
6 - Reward Initiatives and Progress
According to the CDC, giving your children rewards is a very successful parenting technique that encourages good behaviour. The same goes for education! When your child succeeds and displays positive progress in their work, some rewards that can be offered are physical affection, praise, or attention and activities. Depending on the age of your child, the type of reward might differ. This can mean that they might get a special treat for dessert or have extra tablet time that day. Apply an appropriate award for the progress they have made — if they completed an art project, give them praise; if they got all A’s, plan a fun movie night! CDC stated that rewards aren’t just for your child, but for you too. It improves your overall relationship because both of you are happy!
7 - Work With Their Teachers
With online learning, parents can choose classes for their children that are smaller and more student focused, where teachers will contact parents to update them on their child’s status or if anything is unusual. This means that your child can receive individual support and attention as they work. Educators are here to work with parents to support the child, so for younger students, synchronous learning is probably best to start.
Online learning isn’t a short term solution, but is a long term feature of modern society. To many, online learning might be strange and foreign, but to most kids, this way of learning have become the new normal. It provides students with valuable information while giving parents the flexibility they need. Students won’t just be learning their course content, but will learn how to communicate and collaborate online, which is a skill necessary for many jobs today and in the future.
With online learning, students can actually have a more personalised experience with their teacher and even the extremely shy and introverted kids can become more comfortable asking questions and participating with their class. You can even count on contributing less emissions and experiencing less stress from traffic and rising gas prices with online learning! Most of all, online schooling is the most accessible means of learning, especially for people in remote communities, frequent travellers, and those with long commutes and busy schedules.
Our goal as an online educator is not only to provide flexibility, but to create a great modern learning experience.. We want art classes to be accessible and fun for everyone, no matter where they live or how busy their life is.
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