As we approach almost one year living in the age of Corona, we realize that online learning is not going anywhere anytime soon. Many students have adapted to this new lifestyle, while others are dealing with significant mental and emotional struggles. If your child’s quality of life is suffering right now, don’t stand back and assume it will fix itself.
At Math Genie, we don’t only want your child to just get by with their online studies. We want them to thrive and become an online learning master. We put together a list of factors you may be overlooking, as well as tips and tricks that are likely to help your child succeed during this unprecedented time in history.
1. Give Your Child Privacy
This may be the most important suggestion on this list. You may think it’s a good idea to have your child take their online class from a common area in your house like the kitchen, but this is often a terrible idea. We understand that you may want to keep an eye on them, but when they were in-person, you didn't have the chance to do that and they did just fine!
Background noise makes it harder for the teacher to communicate with other students and also distracts everyone. Foreign noise is a huge disturbance that affects everyone in the class, including your child.
Set your child up at an uncluttered desk in a separate room from others in the household. Make the area a specially designated place for your child to learn with minimal distractions. Your child should never sit on a bed or take their class from a cell phone or IPad. Your child should never take their class from a moving vehicle.
2. Prepare Your Child Before Class
Online learning has been detrimental to some students because they are not getting as much hands-on learning from their teacher as they have had when face to face. One on one time with the teacher and class in general is likely much shorter than a traditional in-person school day would be. Prepare your child in advance so they don’t need to miss even a minute of their online class.
- Remind your child to take a bathroom break before class.
- Help your child set up their workspace with all the proper books and materials they need.
- Check all of your child’s assigned homework in advance and let the teacher know you have done so.
- Open your child’s book to the page they should be on for their classwork.
- Make sure your child has eaten before class and has a glass of water accessible to them at all times during class.
- Provide a pair of headphones for your child during their online class.
- Log on to your Google Meet or Zoom meeting a few minutes before class starts.
Make sure you have a reliable internet connection and create your child’s online workspace as close to your internet connection as possible.
Yes, brain breaks really do work. Whether it’s three minutes or twenty minutes, giving your child the break they need can really impact how efficiently they are learning and completing their work. We dug deep into all types of unique brain breaks, some of which you and your child can enjoy together. Read more about some of our favorites like yoga and dancing here.
4. Language Matters
And while taking breaks is needed, we should always be mindful of the language we are using with our child. This is especially true when they’re learning something new. Practicing positive affirmations will not only help to build your child’s confidence. They will enable them to be comfortable with trying new things and taking on challenges head first. Interested in learning more about affirmations? Read more about the science behind them here.
5. Prohibit Cheating
No one wants to believe that their child would ever cheat, but it happens from time to time. Students may cheat for a number of reasons.
Some may be:
- They have no interest in learning about the subject and have the chance to search for the answers online.
- They don’t know the material and feel pressured to do well.
- They are led to believe that if they earn less than a perfect score, there will be severe consequences to pay.
- They may be experiencing some behavioral issues and like to act out for no particular reason.
- They don’t realize they’re even cheating! Read more about that one here.
If your child is cheating, it is eventually going to catch up to them, thus causing them to fall behind. They may even grow to dislike learning and school altogether because they can’t seem to pass without cheating. Or they may grow to become overly competitive and feel that they must always get the highest score in the class, even if that means cheating.
In time, teachers almost always catch cheating students. No one wants their child to have a bad reputation as a cheater. Educate your child about what it means to cheat, why it’s bad, and what they should think about when they have the urge and opportunity to do so.
6. Prioritize Mental Health
Your child is still learning how to manage and navigate their emotions. There are many feelings that your child may be experiencing that they don’t even know a name for yet. According to the CDC, 7.1% of children 3-17 years have diagnosed anxiety. In addition, 3.2% of children have diagnosed depression. The CDC also tells us that anxiety and depression among children have become more common over time. Symptoms may show in different ways, confusing parents and caregivers.
Many things can affect your child’s mental health. As children still adjust to online learning, school may be the biggest contributing factor for poor mental health in your child.
Sometimes it’s easier to believe and accept that our children have behavioral issues as opposed to emotional ones, but we shouldn’t rule that out. And if your child is struggling with their mental health, that doesn’t mean you are to blame! Learn more about some symptoms of anxiety in your children and how to treat them here.
7. The Power of Routines
People who follow routines know that they work. Routines build discipline, reduce anxiety, keep life in order, and help us attend to all of our priorities in a day and manage our time. Putting your child on a regular routine at an early age can only help prepare them for a successful life.
Routines do not have to be so strict. This will add unnecessary pressure to your child. They should involve some fun and include a healthy balance of work and play. By forming a routine and sticking with it, you can teach your child that it is realistic and very possible to get all of their work done and still have time for self care on a daily basis. Routines will teach your child how to set boundaries and goals for themselves, both academic and personal.
Becoming an online learning master will likely not happen overnight, and that’s what makes it so worthwhile. From independent learning to homework tantrums, online learning isn’t always going to be a breeze.
Are you and/or your child struggling
with online learning?
Don’t worry, we have you covered. With hundreds of five star reviews, we consider ourselves a master at our craft of childhood education in reading, writing, math, and coding. Sign up for a free class and assessment with one of our incredible Math Genie teachers today. We can’t wait to meet you.
-The Math Genie team