Let’s face it, virtual school is difficult for even the most gifted students. Constant distractions, low motivation, and unstructured days provide a unique challenge for at-home learning. Here are 5 simple tips to ensure your child not only stays on-track, but thrives in their online learning.
1. Set up a designated work space.
It can be disorienting to complete school-work in a “play” or “sleep” space, which is why designating a separate place to work is crucial for success. This space could be as simple as you need it to be. A make-shift desk in a bedroom, a corner of the kitchen table, or a craft-table in the hallway will all work. Just make sure their work-space is not their bed!
2. Designate a scheduled time for homework.
Working during routinely scheduled blocks of time is proven to aid in focus and productivity. For my students, 12pm-3pm works well. It gives them time to attend virtual classes in the morning, take a break, and then get ready to rock-and-roll on their homework through the afternoon.
3. Set a timer.
For each assignment that your student must complete, set a reasonable timer for them to complete their assignment on a watch, phone, or computer. In most cases, 30-40 minutes is plenty of time for each assignment. A fun twist to this is making or purchasing a colorful hourglass or sand timer. This particularly helps younger students visualize time and stay on track!
4. Take breaks.
Every 40 minutes, take a 10 minute break. It is essential that this break is off-screen. Play outside, play with your family pet, have a one-person dance party —anything that shakes things up and makes you smile! This technique is proven to keep students as productive as possible while also preventing burnout.
5. Keep healthy snacks handy.
Keeping your body and mind well-nourished and hydrated is key to fighting fatigue and staying on task. Dried seaweed, an apple, or baby carrots and hummus are all great choices!
A bonus tip from one of my current students:
“Incentives help a lot. If I manage to pay attention and do some of my work during Zoom, I’m allowed to play video games for a short period of time!” - (E. Age 10)
These effective tips may seem simple but, trust me, they work! And when schools are back in-person, your student can continue to utilize these tips as they develop a healthy and successful work ethic that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Need hands-on guidance for your middle school student?