Coronovirus 2020, Education

How to Freshen Up Your Distance Learning Routine This New Year

How to Freshen Up Your Distance Learning Routine This New Year
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

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.

2020 Holidays, Education, Giveaways, Toy Reviews

GIRLS CAN! CRATE and LEGO® DOTS Giveaway

GIRLS CAN! CRATE and LEGO® DOTS Giveaway

Guess what?  GIRLS CAN! CRATE is partnering with LEGO® this month and including their LEGO® DOTS in the December subscriptions! I have partnered with them to offer one of you a GIRLS CAN! CRATE and LEGO® DOTS box.

What is GIRLS CAN! CRATE? These are subscription boxes are for ages 5-10 and introduces them to diverse women who have made history. Each crate comes with the GIRLS CAN! activity book, hands-on STEAM activities, and inspiration galore! The mailer option or digital option comes with less but based off of the same months crate subject.

If you want to order for Christmas, you’ll need to order on or before the 15th of December. To purchase, please visit wwww.girlscancrate.com

Enter below to win this month’s GIRLS CAN! Crate + LEGO Dots. Hosted by Parenting Healthy. Ends 12/23 9pm PST. I US winner ages 18+. Good luck!

Education, STEM Learning

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

We all want our students to gain the life skills they need to achieve academic, personal, and eventually career success. But with so many important skills and extracurriculars available for them to learn, it can be hard to know what to prioritize.

Coding is one skill that stands out in the modern era. It offers kids a boost in important life skills, socialization, and schooling — as well as a headstart on their future careers.

Here are our top 8 reasons why every kid should learn to code.

1. Coding gives a new way to look at the world

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

Computer code is a way to describe reality — similar to English or any other language. A programming language, just like any natural language, has its own grammar and syntactic rules. Thus, learning to code is very much like learning a second language and provides many of the same advantages.

Each new language gives us a new perspective that is uniquely attuned to a certain environment. In the 21st century, fluency in coding languages like Javascript, Python, or Scratch gives kids an excellent vocabulary for interacting with the world around them. It’s no wonder that programming has been described as the new literacy!

2. Coding fosters creativity

Taking a mental image and giving it form in the real world is the very heart of creativity. Even at an early age, students can harness their creative abilities to make animated graphics, websites, and interactive video games with their coding skills.

Coding is one of the few creative venues that results in truly interactive works — and there is nothing more exciting for kids than interacting with your own creations. This serves as an excellent supplement to other creative venues, giving kids another way to bring their artistic ideas to life.

3. Coding improves math and logic skills

a section of code, showing how logical thinking is ingrained in computer science

Learning code teaches kids computational thinking — the process of breaking down complicated tasks into individual steps (like loops, conditionals, etc.) that a computer can understand. This is the same process used to break down complex arguments, and is a pillar of logical thinking. The more kids practice coding, the better their logic skills will become.

Math skills can often feel abstract and hard to grasp. This is particularly true as a student enters high school-level mathematics, a transition that many of us have struggled with. Coding projects can make math concepts feel more real. As students proceed to learn pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, variables and other concepts that they have already garnered from computer science are sure to give them a headstart.

4. Coding helps children with problem-solving

Simple coding projects offer an excellent introduction to problem-solving skills at a young age. Coders learn how to break down complex problems into simpler ones. This is one of the most crucial and rewarding parts of problem-solving.

With coding, students can test solutions to make sure they work. Few other problem-solving experiences offer this benefit. When all else fails, they improve their Google research skills while seeking solutions, and who wouldn’t benefit from being better at independent research?

5. Coding projects help kids develop resilience

The ability to cope with failure is a vital life skill. Through coding, kids learn that failure is a stepping stone, not an ending. Recovering from a misstep happens quickly with coding. The process is less frustrating because students can try several solutions quickly. This makes it much easier to develop resilience without feeling overwhelmed.

Even just an hour of code a day through hands-on coding projects can teach kids the importance of persistence and resilience.

6. Coding makes learning fun

kids-learning-coding-and-having-fun

Computer programming projects give exciting results, that you can see right in front of your eyes. Your student can build stand-alone projects like Tic Tac Toe, an animated animal face drawing, or even their own video game design from their imagination.

They can also bring their coding skills into their current favorite toys and games. Minecraft add-ons are an amazing example. Kids can use code to enhance activities that they already know and love!

7. Coding is a social activity

Remember all those coding projects we already talked about? Your student can also show off what they built to their friends! Sharing how they built their favorite game reinforces what they have learned and improves their confidence. When your student shows off that new Minecraft add-on or video game they built, their friends are sure to be impressed.

And there’s another way to turn coding into a social activity: Hackathons for kids. These virtual competitions give kids a chance to work on collaborative problem-solving and building with a goal in mind. It’s hard to find better preparation for teamwork skills in school or work!

8. Coding prepares students for the careers of the future

An adult working on a holographic screen, showing how computer science helps kids in future careers

Finally, we can’t end this list without mentioning careers. Coding skills are indicators of digital literacy — a necessity in this digital age! Nearly 50% of all jobs require some coding skills.

Of course, these skills are especially crucial for coding and computer science careers. Further, coders are proven problem solvers and logical thinkers, skills that are valuable in any career field.

Ready to get started learning code?

Individually, each of these is a strong reason for your student to learn coding. When combined, they make coding one of the most valuable skills for young kids in the 21st century!

Finding resources to help kids become computer programmers used to be hard. Over the past several years, the advent of online courses and guided coding projects has made the process much easier.

A Juni Instructor teaching Scratch.

A Juni Instructor teaches Scratch to a student.

Juni Learning is here to help as well. We offer a range of private and group online coding courses for kids ages 8-18 that gives students solid foundations in computer science, logical thinking, and even creative subjects like website design. Every student is matched with an expert instructor who’ll be their personal guide into the world of coding.

Check out our coding curriculum or contact our admissions team to jump-start your student’s future today!

This article originally appeared on junilearning.com.