The past year has been a whirlwind for students, teachers and parents. As you’ve adjusted, you and your kids likely haven’t made any substantial changes to your distance learning routine. It’s a good time to reevaluate your approach now that you’re more experienced.
Here are six ways to improve your kids’ distance learning routine in preparation for the new school year:
1. Make Fun Snacks and Drinks
Your kids should always aim to take one or two breaks throughout their school days. This time will help them rest so they remain energized and focused. The food and drinks your children consume during their breaks make a difference. That’s why you might want to explore new snack options as a way to jazz things up.
Exploring recipes can help keep your kids’ school days interesting. It’s also an opportunity to help them learn about cooking. Incorporating life skills into their academic lesson plans can be a positive addition.
It’s not always possible to be present in your kids’ daily routines. If you have the time, you should take advantage of this when they’re at home to teach them things they might not learn in school traditionally.
2. Create a Dedicated Workspace
If your kids have been using your living room as a classroom, you may want to explore other possibilities. Children need to have a dedicated space to work throughout the week. An unorganized and noisy area can be detrimental to their learning experiences.
Getting individual desks for their bedrooms is a practical option. You can also outfit a place like your dining room to be more accommodating. Be sure whichever space you pick has comfortable seating, adequate supplies and internet connection. Remove anything that might lead to distractions.
3. Pursue a Passion Project
For older students, it’s smart to encourage them to explore passion projects in addition to schoolwork. Be sure your kids have enough time to pursue their interests. The pandemic has been uniquely challenging for young adults, and any moment dedicated to your kids’ hobbies is beneficial.
A passion project can be anything from a short film about a historical event to a research paper concerning life in space. Encourage your middle- and high-schoolers to pick a subject they particularly enjoy. Make a goal for them to complete their passion project by the end of the semester.
This effort can be especially constructive for juniors and seniors. They probably don’t know what they want to study or do after graduation. Therefore, you should encourage them to explore different topics so they have more of a concrete idea surrounding their futures.
4. Try Different Outdoor Activities
Your distance learning routine should include outdoor activities to ensure your kids get enough daily exercise. You’ve likely already left space in their schedules for outside time. However, you can do more than send your children to run around in the backyard.
Here are a few suggestions to make recess more rewarding:
- Go for a neighborhood bike ride.
- Visit a playground.
- Try hiking a nearby trail.
- Do a scavenger hunt.
- Play basketball or baseball.
- Build and fly paper airplanes.
- Make and blow bubbles.
These activities may take a little more effort than other ideas. It’s still worthwhile to pursue them to make your children’s school days diverse. If you have time, you can plan things in advance. A new game or exercise can teach your kids new lessons while they have fun.
5. Explore Supplemental Exercises
There are seemingly endless ways to supplement your children’s education. If you feel like they could benefit from additional guidance, you should explore different possibilities. There’s only so much your kids’ teachers can do to help during distance learning.
Start by considering how your children learn. This step will help you choose additional resources that make sense for them. For example, your child may be a visual learner who’s struggling with fractions. Find helpful videos on YouTube to guide them through their homework.
As a result, you can ensure your kids make each day as productive as possible.
6. Leave Room for Socialization
The state of the COVID-19 pandemic probably means your children still can’t attend group activities like sports and clubs. They also can’t hang out with their peers like they did previously. This lack of social interaction can be detrimental to kids’ mental health — but your support makes a difference.
Leaving space in your children’s weekly schedules for play dates should help. These can be virtual hangouts where they do homework or play games. If you and your children social distance and wear masks, you can enjoy an outdoor playdate with another family.
Make Distance Learning a Better Experience for Your Children
There’s a good chance that you’re not sure when your kids will be back in their physical classrooms. In the time when you have to do distance learning, it’s smart to make your kids’ experience as beneficial as possible. Use these tips to improve your routine in the new year.