Want your children to take online classes seriously? We’ve got some virtual school tips. Kids in Scioto County, Ohio, and all across the country are attending online school this fall. Some of them just a few days a week, others full-time. And from what I hear from parents, a lot of them aren’t taking it very seriously. One harried mom told me, “All they do is fight.” Other parents complain the kids don’t think it’s ‘real school,’ so they don’t pay attention.
I’ve got a few ideas that can help kids focus in this new situation and hopefully give parents a break, too.
Create a Separate Space
Do your very best to dedicate a separate space just for learning. Learning in the living room or in your bed sounds super convenient. But having a designated space sends the message that you’re actually at school. Choose just a corner of the living room or a bedroom. Or turn one bedroom into the schoolroom from 8 to 3 every day. The folks from Indy With Kids featured some great examples, like the spaces below.
Furniture for classrooms or in-home learning
If you must use a shared space like the kitchen table, designate that kitchen table as a school when classes are happening. No eating or cooking in the kitchen. This may require some planning like preparing lunch or dinner the night before to avoid distractions.
Get Dressed And Ready
Stick to a set schedule, just like you would if they were headed out the door. If you’re doing a split virtual/in-person schedule, make it the same timetable as in-person schooling.
Get children up in plenty of time to clean up, get dressed, and eat breakfast before classes start. Rolling out of bed right before class starts may seem easy, that makes for sleepy brains. Putting on school clothes instead of hanging out in pajamas sends the message that virtual classes are the real deal.
In some cases, distance learning allows you to set your own schedule. If it does, set the same schedule for every single day. And don’t forget about recess. Work in some time for physical activity to burn off their energy.
Make sure kids can focus on schoolwork by shutting off all electronic devices except what’s being used for school. That means you, too. Congratulations, you’re now a school employee. TV or music in the background is distracting. Save the vacuuming for later. If your child is having a class don’t come in and start hanging up laundry or doing the dishes. Remember, any noise in your home is also distracting for other children attending the virtual class.
When there are other kids in the house, do your best to make sure they don’t interrupt each other.