Is virtual learning the new normal? The aftermath of a pandemic encompasses unavoidable chaos in the lives of people. In this helpless scenario, coping with the revolutionary changes in the field of learning can be tricky for the students as well as for their parents. To help them with this dilemma is going to be the focus of this blog.
Tips for Parents to Improve Virtual Learning for Kids
Studies report that when it comes to virtual learning, parents often play a role of a teacher. Many kids generally treat online learning as a vacation. So how parents can make their kids understand that virtual learning is the new method and not a vacation to them. But what are the ways that would help them how improve virtual learning for their kids? Well, in this blog, we have listed 8 tips that will help parents to help kids improve virtual learning. Read further to know these tips!
1. Create a dedicated virtual learning environment
The kind of space in which you learn will directly impact your productivity. Studying in bed can be detrimental to one’s productivity because subconsciously we associate beds with comfort and sleep. The study states that to have your thoughts aligned, you must find a desk and sit up straight. A designated study space also brings confidence, motivation, and a sense of comfort in the minds of children.
When it comes to virtual learning, setting up a straight-backed chair along with a desk is a must. If not that, placing a chair against a flat elevated surface or platform can also be useful. Considering what they would require during class including materials like previously sharpened pencils, or other stationery and keeping them handy is important. Creating a well-lit desk is again vital, as you do not need kids straining their eyes. Pick a sunny spot next to the window, providing a good amount of ventilation. To create a feeling of belonging, ask your kids to pin-up artwork or otherwise personalise their learning space.
2. Establish an organised routine
Following a schedule can prevent kids from plugging away from their virtual learning sessions. Activities like waking up on time, having a healthy breakfast, and dressing up immaculately for school subconsciously demands the child to focus. Keeping the desk organised helps the child work independently and effectively, simultaneously promotes decision making. Moreover, it induces a sense of responsibility.
On the contrary, being disorganised hinders their productivity, makes them anxious, and can even take a toll on their overall health. For example, a child who has prepared a single book for all subjects combined would be rummaging through his notes a day before the exam. It would cost him an immense amount of time which he can not afford to waste considering the exam period. However, had he been systematising his notes according to the subjects since the beginning, it would have been a cakewalk during the exam. From prioritising your work to set up short term goals that are achievable can make life much easier and strikingly increase your academic score. It may not seem like it, but teaching a child to pick their plates or put freshly laundered clothes away can build their brain and prepare them for challenging academic opportunities.
3. Familiarise them with the concept of virtual learning
Generally, humans are hesitant towards unexplored activities. Especially with kids, new situations can make them a bit nervous. Lack of predictability is often what’s causing the emotions that derail learning, says Professor Wahman, which is why increasing predictability can help. Describe the process of virtual learning and the reasons behind the shift from brick to click learning. Assist them with their projects, assignments, or presentations as some of these can be an entirely new experience for them.
Minimal efforts in building their technical knowledge will help them in the long run. Know what platforms, software children are using. Co-view, co-play, and co-engage with your children when they are using the screen, encourage social interactions, bonding, and learning. Don’t just monitor them online, interact with them, so you can understand what they are doing and be a part of it. Explore new aspects, new tools, and new settings of different apps along with them as that would keep them engaged.
4. Uncover the links between lessons and their values
There are instances when children struggle to obtain clarity on their lessons. Rote learning is detrimental and an outdated concept as it leaves a child with an unclear, perplexed state of mind. Endeavour to build a deeper understanding of concepts in the minds of children. The easiest way to go about it is to share relatable examples or your personal experiences with them.
Generating links between written concepts and hands-on experiences will develop a stronger understanding, and triggers further learning. Concept mapping helps children introspect whether they have been aware of what they are learning. At the same time, encourage students to look for ways that academic content aligns with their values for overall personality development.
5. Build a healthy relationship
Relationship-building is vital in ways we don’t even realise. Children learn relationship-building from their parents and their bond with parents forms a basis of the general social behaviour of a child. Through relationships, children discover who they are and learn to understand others. For example, the moment a school child watches his friend topple over a football in the playground, he runs with a first aid kit and a bottle of water. He does exactly what he has seen his mommy do for him. This child is learning how to empathise with, or understand, another’s feelings and experiences.
Researchers have proven that supportive relationships impact their schoolwork, as the child works harder for parents and teachers that are compassionate towards them. A secure attachment leads to healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and motivational development. Avoid yelling at them, as that can be as harmful as hitting them. Keep things light and playful as much as possible. Instead of letting them sit back and watch a tv show in their room, ask them to arrange virtual meets with their friends where they could discuss some hilarious moments in class that day.
6. Incorporate curiousness
Infants are born curious. Sometimes, they ask the most unimaginable albeit the most interesting questions and when that happens it is the responsibility of a parent to put forth the answers. Answer them simply, and clearly to promote understanding. They are more likely to be engaged that way. Curiosity prepares the brain for learning and increases concentration while studying. It is the reason why most speakers start with a question, creating a hook that keeps you involved. The key is to retain that hook.
When children are curious, the brain becomes a fast working, information gathering tool and retains information that might not even interest them. Normally considered boring or difficult subjects might also be fascinating if put across compellingly. Asking them questions related to any topics and lessons would evoke the child to read more, probably discuss with their class teachers and gradually, learn. Incorporating a sense of safety and confidence in children where they fearlessly raise their doubts without being intimidated by whosoever, will help them build a better understanding and a better personality.
7. Focus on their strengths
Our instinct tells us to uplight children in the areas they are weak. However, doing so might cause them to be disengaged with the virtual learning. Pulling up areas of weakness might even lead to withdrawal from the subjects they find truly intriguing. On the other hand, focusing on their strengths produces a feeling of content, greater levels of engagement at school, and higher levels of academic achievement. Put some thought into what engages your child the most.
The first step to a strength-based approach is to help children learn what their strengths are. Discuss with their teachers what qualities they display or what captivates them. At the same time, request the teachers to provide opportunities to use those talents and, theoretically, even allow the choice of projects or assignments based on their strengths. If it seems feasible, equip them with the resources required to practice more of what they enjoy. If not, simply introduce some basic level courses available online, that can give them more exposure and knowledge on their subject of interest.
8. Positive reinforcement works wonders
There is no better way to boost your child’s confidence than praising them either verbally or by certain gestures like patting them on their back. Appreciate them even for their slightest participation in activities or for any rectitude they show. If they prepare a presentation once, compliment them on their work. Use words like “I’m glad to watch you try”, “you’re doing great”, “proud of you”, next thing you know, they will put twice the effort they put in the first attempt.
Children feel noticed, validated, and approved of, so they continue the behaviour they are praised for. Moreover, they realise their positive qualities and actions. These are minimal rewards, having the greatest impact on the children and shaping them to be academically and socially successful.
Recommended Read: Find the Perfect Career With Online Career Counselling
The onset of the pandemic shook things up in all areas, including education, schools, and classes. According to Unesco, the education of nearly 1.6 billion pupils in 190 countries has so far been affected – that’s 90% of the world’s school-age children. The stresses of living in isolation under quarantine have had some serious impact on their social, emotional, and cognitive development. Hence, this is the time they need their parents the most. All these elements boil down to the fact that parents must create the positive environment and growth-oriented mindset among children. However, while you’re trying to practice these approaches, don’t forget to create some tech-free zones, with no screens around, to ensure a healthier peace of mind.
Besides, you can also look for some career counselling online that will enable your kid to discover their areas of interests in the early age. As a result, they will be able to develop interest of virtual learning in them.