Amidst the news of going back to face-to-face classes, there are still those who would remain to be in an online class set up. As a parent, or someone who has a student, let us be a part of a helpful community for people adjusting still to online class. In this article, help your child focus during online class by following some of these tips.
Distance Learning and Why Is It Not Ideal for Some
The idea of distance learning has never been easily acceptable for a multitude of reason. Mainly because it has been a norm that children need to attend school to study, or it will be harder for some as not all households will have the same internet connectivity strength. Not to mention, the required gadgets at home to join even. But, the pandemic has taken us hostage to this predicament and most of us doesn’t have a choice. While our children are forced to adjust in learning at home with all the distractions around, Parents at the same time have a harder time adapting with the schedule and their work from home situation, while ensuring that kids will still end up learning the same when inside the four corners of the classroom.
In 2020, children, parents, and school administrations are forced to adapt to a new way of learning. And, many are faced with different challenges of not knowing how this will entirely affect our children’s future. Discussions between the advantages and disadvantages of this method. Advantages such as learning being in the comfort of home, cost will be lesser, student’s attendance can be guaranteed and is often self-paced. Whereas, the disadvantages are our children’s health, physically and mentally, having to be confined in a sitting position for hours, with the lack of socializing skills, will be greatly affected not to mention the effect of this setup in their personalities. Parents are also mainly concerned if their child already has the ability and readiness to be focused, with the distractions of home and everything else that comes with it.
With these arising concerns and the ever-changing environment of education, we have listed 8 ways to help you/us parents in helping our children adapt to these changes.
Here are ways to help your child focus during online classes:
1. Set Expectations
Every month since their conception children are expected to be able to do or act certain things at a specific age. But with their education, it is important to set expectations as these provides consistency in your child’s life to allow them to flourish. We, parents, must always remember that by setting specific expectations to our children, their attention will be more guided. We also need to focus on what our children can do rather than on what they can’t do. These are realistic expectations that allows us to genuinely lets us see our children and help them grow in their own special way. In this way this will help nurture our child’s sense of self-esteem and encourage healthy development.
You can also post a calendar for specific task that they will have to do in a week (To Do List). This could be posted inside your child’s bedroom or any area in your room reserved for school. By doing this, you can set their minds about what they need to accomplish and what is expected of them.
2. Designate a Space for Learning
Every child must recognize certain areas of their home and its uses. As children, we were also taught about these areas where the dining table is only for eating or where certain areas are off limits to children. Theses specific spaces helps our children identify and understand the purpose of each area and how to properly maintain it. It is also important to identify a specific area for our child when attending to their online classes as this helps with their ability to be responsible.
When choosing a space for learning, ensure that the area is well ventilated so our children can be comfortable. It is also important that the lighting is sufficient since most of the tasks given to them are writing and reading. Sound will also be an important factor as this will be the main thing that will distract our children when learning. If the area is not enclosed, then make use of proper positioning where the area is located in the quietest part of your home. Lastly, choose a location where foot traffic is minimal. The eyes of children can easily be caught by any moving object; may it be a person or anything that moves. You can make use of curtains or partitions where they will feel that their area is off limits to others while school is still on.
3. Goal Setting
To properly set a goal, you will have to first know what you want to achieve. In this case, it will be for our child to keep their focus and learn despite being surrounded by different distractions. It would be best to know the child’s capabilities and involve them in setting a goal. Let them first understand the situation and let them create their own goal, may it be a long term goal, such as getting a consistently above average results or short term such as being able to complete their online class without getting any distractions. By involving our kids in this method, it would also develop their critical thinking skills as well as teaching them to take responsibility for themselves.
Goal setting will also be a constant interaction between parent and child as this could also strengthen the relationship between the two. Always maintain constant communication that hears out both sides, as this will help our children to be open to us.
4. Help Them Organize
In any kind of situation, it is best known that good results are the outcome of being organized. Being side-tracked into doing something else is the concern we have with our children when given a task, not being able to find the things they need and seeing other items that piques their interest. We can help our children in organizing their spaces by providing specific areas when they can locate their materials and books, ensuring that their study area is clear and at the same time letting them keep everything after every session.
You can start by labelling your binders and folders. Allot spaces where your items are placed, where shoes are stored as well as other school items like papers, pens and notebooks. This will give your child a mental map of where to find everything when they need it. Have them help when doing this task so they are included in selecting the best places for them to remember.
5. Limit Gadget Use
When children are in front of their gadgets, they are used to switching from one application to another, moving from place to place, and is mostly unaware of their surroundings. This kind of behaviour will eat away at our child’s focus since most of the things they want to do are instantly available to them. Kids nowadays are easily distracted by multitasking all the time even when playing. Watching a Youtube video while playing Roblox is normal for them, since kids really have a low attention span and is easily interested in different things.
You can set a schedule or condition where gadgets are allowed to be used. For example, in our household, the use of gadgets is allowed only in the weekends and the conditions are school and house tasks should be completed first. By doing this, the attention of your child will be focused on a single task when in school.
6. Establish a routine
Routines gives children a sense of security and stability. It helps them feel safe in their own environment. In a traditional setting, children are provided a list of things or activities which requires them to complete as their daily tasks. This classroom routine helps establish good relationship between the teachers, students, and their classmates. Similar to that, having a routine even with distance learning allows children to accomplish simple tasks and also helps them create a better and smooth transition between activities. If our children will establish a daily routine, this basically influence their quality of rest, emotional well-being, and energy level.
In the online class setting, what you can do is have them always turn on the computer and open the applications needed for school. Let them do this task every day and maintain this routine for about 2 weeks to create a habit. You can also think of your own routine for your child that includes not only school tasks. You can also have them exercise the things they need to do after school to encourage responsibility as a student.
7. Provide Positive feedback
A positive feedback is a form of evaluation that focuses on a person’s strengths, talents, and accomplishments when necessary. When providing a positive feedback, you have to basically focus on a person’s ability to do things correctly. In children, providing feedback and giving praise has its merits. In most cases, when we see our kids do things out of the ordinary, we as parents are quick to provide praise and celebrate their wins but if during these times, we provide positive feedback to our children this will increase the likelihood that they will engage in appropriate behaviour.
You can also make use of a reward system if your child is having difficulty in doing a certain task. This method will increase their self-esteem, as well as this could boost their confidence in their own ability. For some, kids might refuse to do a certain task and more often than not, we tend to use the opposite side to this method, which is punishment or consequence. Be careful when setting a standard for punishment and veer away (as much as you can) from physical forms that may traumatize our children. You can always take away access to certain activities like playing or gadgets so they can think more about the outcome of doing or not doing something.
8. Sleep is Always Important
As we all know, sleep is a part of our daily lives that greatly affects our focus and ultimately, our productivity. This is also true for our children as sleep is one of the most important requirements for their developing bodies. Not to mention, the effects of sleep deprivation to the way they consume information and learn from school and the way this affects their mood. Kids can have less self-control than they usually do and having a short temper might get them easily frustrated in doing homework or school tasks. Studies show that lack of sleep affects our focus because our brain waves lapse into a brief sleep-like pattern even when awake.
Set a schedule for sleep – even in the afternoon! Kids need a lot of sleep since the growth hormones in our body only activates when our bodies are in a relaxed state. At night, set a schedule for bath, study, and sleep. By doing this, you can also set the time when to wake up, calculating the amount of sleep your child needs. Religiously follow this schedule to also set your child’s body clock so that their focus will be at 100% when in school.
Education in 2022
Now that the restrictions in our community are slowly being lifted, the education system will also have to slowly adjust to the hybrid setup of learning. Schedules will most likely be mixed for schools depending on the level of education. Some will provide a pure online setup for children who are not yet allowed to get a vaccine, and some will require for students to be physically present. No matter what the status of your child’s setup for school, the online format will most likely be used still, even in the face to face setup. Online learning in 2022 will mostly be retained since the vaccine for Covid-19 is still not yet available for all ages of children. It’s a good thing that Bria Homes, Inc. provides a quiet and safe community for work and school. Every Filipino family can rest easy that Bria Homes offers the best and most affordable properties available in the market today. With its strategic locations and well maintained community, you can rest easy while your child learns online. For more information, please visit https://www.bria.com.ph/properties/
Written by Gene Llanes