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Adjusting to Learning at Home

November 30, 2020 • Our Blog • General Health
Parents and children are still adjusting to an unprecedented, unpredictable school year. Here’s how to make the transition go a little smoother. With countless children attending school remotely and many parents working from home, families do not have a proven playbook for navigating the 2020-2021 school year. While this situation is far from ideal, there are a number of ways to make this unusual school year go a little smoother. With a healthy dose of patience and some careful strategizing, parents can help their children make the transition to remote learning as seamlessly as possible.

Creating a School-from-Home Space

One of the best ways to get your child into “school mode” at home is to create a designated space for schoolwork. While a desk is the most obvious option, if your family doesn’t have a spare desk in the house, a corner of the kitchen table or even a bedside table with a chair pulled up will do. The key is to ensure this space is only used for focusing on learning and schoolwork during this time in which many students don’t have a separate school building for that purpose.

Keep a Consistent Schedule

With previous routines and schedules out the window, it’s important to create some structure in your child’s day. Especially in such an uncertain time, predictability can create a sense of safety and security, which can soothe worries about virtual schooling. Craft a schedule with blocks of time dedicated to work, meals, and physical activity. Keep the blocks of time consistent, but don’t be overly concerned about making each day identical — switch up the day’s exercise to keep your child engaged and change up snacks and lunches to prevent monotony. To give your child agency in their day, consider setting aside three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon for school work, but let your child choose which subjects to work on at which time.

Consider Leveraging Extrinsic Motivation

Despite your efforts to keep your child on track via their workspace and schedule, they may still struggle to find motivation learning virtually. If that’s the case for your child, consider setting up a reward system. If your child is younger, you could give them a sticker, check mark, or piece of candy when they complete certain tasks. Older children may be motivated by being able to choose what’s for dinner or make a selection for family movie night.

Prepare to Be Flexible

Because there’s no playbook for virtual schooling, the best way to prepare is to acknowledge that no one has all the answers. Expect to be flexible throughout the year, seeing what does and doesn’t work for your child and family and adjusting accordingly. If you need help developing a school year routine that calms and motivates your child while giving you the space and time you need to work from home, reach out to Kids’ Health. Our pediatric practice is dedicated to helping your child reach their best physically, emotionally, and academically, and if your child is struggling to stay focused and remain positive during this odd school year, we can help. Contact us today!...