Mastering Digital Learning with Your Kids
Written by Kortney Lewis, Ed. S
Virtually, learning isn’t just about completing assignments; it is about coexisting in the same space with the same people day in and day out. Learning is the ability to prove that you can persevere in any situation, regardless of the obstacles in your path. Since traditional classroom learning has recently moved online, I thought it would be great to share a few tips to help you and your household conquer education in this new, home-based, digital learning environment. They are practical and will benefit you and your family both in and outside of your home.
1. Plan for a Successful Week.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and seeking a way to get organized, incorporating the following simple tips will lower your stress levels and help you to ensure that sure that your kids are learning.
Review your child(ren)’s assignments and live sessions with their teachers in advance. If possible, take a gander at the schedule within 6 hours after it is posted online, paying close attention to due dates and daily tasks. Ask each teacher(s) for your scholar’s passwords so that you can look online and see the work for yourself.
A great way to lay out a weekly schedule is to create a visual board on a poster board or dry erase board that rests either in your scholar’s room or learning space, then review this schedule with them on the first day of each week.
Establish a clear daily routine with your kids. Set meal and snack times, recess times, around their predetermined scholastic schedule provided by their teacher. It's important that the kids know their routine and are provided with simple and clear directives. Most importantly, it's critical that you know their routine as well in order to ensure they are staying on track throughout the day. The routine doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should be one that allows them to have a successful and productive day.
Once the routine is established, you must inspect what you expect by frequently following up on your scholar’s academic assignments, especially in the beginning. They need to know that you are monitoring their progress. As time goes on, and trust is established between you and your child, you can slowly pull back if you see your child is being responsible. If not, please remain vigilant. Reinforce the notion that the more they can show you that that they are responsible, the more you can trust them; and the more you trust them, the more freedom you will allot them in return.
Review their weekly recap on the last school day of each week.
Remember, your child(ren)'s education is an investment and foundation for their future success as an adult. In order to get a return, you both must invest the time and resources required.
2. Set a Positive Tone for the Day.
Children thrive in loving and joyful environments. As parents, the tone you set for your child is so important. It affects their mood throughout their day which is directly correlated to their level of stress and ability to focus on tasks. A great ways to start the day on a positive note is to greet each child with a smile, a warm hug, and a heartfelt “Good morning!” Once their hearts are filled with love and their little bellies are filled with a hearty breakfast, take a moment to discuss the agenda for the day.
3. Respect for Personal Space.
It is key to ensure that your scholar respects theirs and other family member’s personal space. Whether it’s just the two of you, or you have multiple children and family members in the home, show them the importance of respecting theirs and others personal space by:
Cleaning their work spaces once they are have completed working. This allows their family members to work in a clean space and will also allow them to start the next day with a clean slate.
Treat everyone’s belongings with care.
Ask first; touch with permission. Do not borrow a family member’s belongings without first seeing permission from the owner.
- Respect privacy. Explain the importance of avoiding listening in on, and actively participating in other family member’s personal conversations, unless they are invited.
These tips not only help to set a ground rule for how to treat others, but also shows your kids how they should expect to be treated. Remember, the Golden Rule is so real!
4. Keep It Down.
Are you knowingly or unknowingly blasting your music or television? Are you speaking loudly on a conference call? Many times we unknowingly do these things, but with learning taking place full-time in the home, we have to be more aware of our surroundings. As the parent, you are responsible for setting the tone within your home. When creating your scholar’s learning environment, it’s important to set the structured environment that you expect from your scholar’s educational facility. Some things to consider when creating your scholars learning space include:
Creating a work space for yourself, separate from that of your scholar in order to minimize background noise for both of you.
If possible, allow for separate work spaces for each child within your household, especially during live sessions with their teacher(s). This can be accomplished by either using separate rooms within the household or setting a schedule that allows each scholar to work in the same space, on a rotating schedule.
Map out where your scholar’s learning space is in proximity to all other members of the household (i.e. pets, siblings, grandparents, etc.). If possible, keep them at least one room apart from other members of the household, keeping pets in a calm environment to prevent them from making disruptive noises
5. Tune In.
When speaking to your kids, ensure that you are in a space that allows you to be fully engaged in what they are saying:
Tuck technological devices away.
Participate in active listening, repeating high level points from your scholar’s conversation, and providing then with your thoughts and feelings on the subject matter.
Share interesting facts or highlights of your day with your scholar during dinner and allow them to give their feedback as well as ask any questions they might have.
It is important that you connect with your child in order to build trust, so this is great time for you both to enjoy an uninterrupted bonding experience . The conversations and laughter shared during those times, will grow to become some of your families most cherished moments. They will also create the foundation for a trusting relationship between you and your scholar. The more trust you both have in one another, the easier it will be to get your child to give you the inside scoop on what their challenges and successes are in the classroom, allowing you to assist them in their scholastic victories.
I'm sure this sudden change in education has significantly changed the environment within your household. It's been difficult for me as an educator as well perhaps the hardest time we have all faced in the way children are educated. I hope my tips and insight as an educator helps ease some of the pain of digital learning until we can get our babies back into their respective school buildings.