For some lucky kids, being attentive and catching up at school (and in these times, at online school) is as easy as the snap of a finger. But for some kids, it’s not.
Noticing that they are not as good as their peers can be very frustrating for children. As parents, we don’t want our kids to lose the joy of learning. Pushing them to learn more and to become better often leads to conflicts between parents and kids, and sometimes to even more frustration. Being in close contact with students of every age and sensing their needs, A for Effort Math & Science Tutoring has put together a few tips to keep your kids motivated during remote learning.
#1 Create a Proper Learning Environment
Online school during lockdowns or times of social restrictions means for many families to stay home pretty much all day and all night, especially for the kids. This means that kids who are still growing up and developing every day have to make all their experiences within a small radius at home. Playtime, school time, and family time blur into each other. In normal times, spending time at home and in their rooms means relaxation and free time, now it’s also school and tests and pressure.
For many kids, it helps if parents create different environments at home in different situations. Of course, not every family has the possibility to spare a room for schooling for each kid. But it might be an option to move the desks of your kids to assigned schooling areas within the house. Or assign the desk in the kid’s room as a pure school zone, completely free from toys, reading books, and technical devices that are used for fun. This spatial separation between free time and school time might already be helpful.
#2 Maintain a Fixed Schedule
Adding a determined schedule might be another helpful thing. The pandemic doesn’t only bring uncertainty to many grown-ups, many kids feel the same uncertainty as no one can say when their lives might become normal again. Of course, the school days of students are structured by their timetable already. It might help though if you as a family also set a clear schedule for extracurricular activities. Eating times and plans, sleeping times, times to watch movies or chat with friends – predictability helps many kids to cope with these special times.
#3 Create Small Highlights
We all might sometimes have the feeling that life right now feels a bit like background music without highlights, breaks, and special experiences. To motivate yourself and your kids, try to define one small highlight a day – something that your kid looks forward to and that helps them to get through another day of online schooling. This might be a movie at night, a special ice cream, a board game with the whole family or an online meeting with friends or family. Let your creativity stage even the smallest positive distraction to help get your child through the online school day.
#4 Ensure Breaks during Weekends
We all know that even weekends are not the way they used to be as we have to basically spend them at home. We usually don’t have big plans during this time as everyone is committed to keep social interaction at a minimum. This is an inviting situation to fill the free days with school stuff – left over homework or things to learn. Of course, older kids have to learn on weekends, especially before exams. But younger kids need breaks. Motivate your kids to finish most of their school work during the week so that they really can switch off from school on Saturdays and Sundays.
#5 Praise your Kids
Acknowledging your kids’ efforts in school things is always important and, in these times, even more. During remote learning, the students usually have fewer one-on-one exchanges with their teachers and therefore less individual feedback and support from their teachers. Plus, it’s already a great achievement if kids master their school days in these times. Even if we as parents might have the feeling that they are learning less right now, they learn a lot in terms of working individually, working digitally, and solving technical problems. So, be proud of them. And let them know every day. There is no better motivation than getting positive feedback.
#6 Get Professional Support by a Tutor
Any student can benefit from the support of a professional tutor. A tutor can help to advance personal learning experiences, develop better study skills, and create a passion for learning. During the pandemic, one-on-one tutoring sessions can be extremely helpful for students who miss the direct and personal interaction with their teachers, and of course, it also helps parents who often feel obliged to take over the role of a teacher during the current times. A for Effort Math & Science Tutoring currently offers three lesson options: Online via Zoom, one-on-one home visits, or private classroom sessions. Find more about our tutoring services.