Tips to Help Your Child Focus and Stay Engaged During Distance Learning

Florance/ May 18, 2020/ Education

As schools are faced with the challenge of providing learning opportunities for all students at a distance, parents are called on to be more involved than ever before, particularly for their younger learners and those with learning challenges and disabilities. Maintaining high levels of engagement can be challenging even for savvy adult learners.

How do we best help our kids make the most of these distance learning experiences?

The term “engagement” refers to the amount and quality of time students spend on distance learning activities. Distance learning activities can be in a synchronous (real-time) learning experience where students have some type of scheduled online interaction with a teacher or group, or asynchronous (not in real time) learning experience where students interact with online resources at their own pace.

Regardless of the mode of delivery, many students are asked to be engaged in a way that’s new to them. Teachers might hold live or video-recorded class lectures or activities, or perhaps parents are given digital learning resources to work through with their children. Without effective supports for children from teachers and parents in place at home, families can easily become disengaged and frustrated.

Here are eight tips to help your child maintain focus and stay engaged during this time of distance learning.

  1. Understand the expectation for distance learning. How much time should students spend online for learning purposes? There are screen time considerations for all students, and older students can handle longer amounts of time than younger students. Your child’s teacher or school should provide some guidance for what is reasonable. For young children, interaction and play is valuable for learning.
  2. Determine what type of activities work best for your child. Are their certain types of distance learning activities that your child prefers over others? For example, does your child work better with synchronous activities where they respond to a live instructor, or in person sitting one-on-one with you? What learning platforms seems to engage your child more than others? The answers to these questions can be valuable for you and your child’s teacher to help plan for learning experiences that work best for your child.
  3. Encourage movement. Kids need to move their bodies frequently throughout the day. Allow time for exercise before your child is expected to focus on a distance learning task. Some children are able to better focus on tasks when standing. Consider having your computer or tablet be on a raised surface so that your child can stand.
  4. Reduce distractions. Where possible, reduce distractions when your child is completing schoolwork. This includes noise as well as visual noise or clutter. A designated workspace that is comfortable for your child will be helpful.
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