The advent of the internet has radically altered many  facets in our lives, including education. In recent years, the concept of what constitutes “education” has gradually been changing. Today, formal education isn’t always confined to occuring within the four walls of a traditional classroom, as there is now such a thing as “distance learning”. Distance learning is a form of remote education that enables teachers and students  to conduct and access instruction through the internet.

While it’s true that younger generations  may be more accustomed to using technology, distance learning can still bring with it its own set of challenges. Even though our kids are generally tech-savvy, they may still struggle with adapting to a new method of education through an online environment.  If your little one is participating in online education this school year, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a guide to help you and your little one adjust to the potentially new and unfamiliar world of distance learning.

Set expectations and create routines

Even though society’s “new normal” may include an online learning format for accessing education, it’s important to treat online school days just as you would your child’s normal school days. Begin with setting expectations at home. Talk to your child and communicate clearly how their new style of learning will be. Discuss with your child the specifics of what an online school day will look like, and review what the daily routine will entail.

Create a set schedule for your child to follow every day. This is an excellent way to help your child practice and adopt important life skills for time-management and adhering to a schedule.  Set a specific time for waking up, having breakfast, getting dressed and getting ready for class. Make sure children also follow a routine after class to allow time for doing homework, having playtime or down time, and so on. Keep the usual bedtime routine in place, as well as the existing rules for using technology and electronic gadgets. 

Set up a learning corner

Classrooms are designed to make learning conducive to children. Therefore, it’s imperative to create a similar space that will make learning easy and comfortable for your little one. Find a cozy and quiet spot in your home and turn it into a learning corner.  Make sure this space is dedicated to school-related activities only. Make sure it’s free of distractions and has comfortable seating, as well as strong internet access. 

Stay in contact with your child’s teachers

It’s always a good idea to get updates and feedback from your child’s teachers and other school staff if applicable, as they are usually more than willing to keep communication lines open with parents, too. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teachers  to ensure that your child is staying on top of his or her academic responsibilities. Inquire about whether your little one is adapting well to the online learning platform, or if he or she is encountering any struggles or challenges. This is a good way to find solutions as you work together to provide the help your child needs to be successful. 

Allow your child some independence

Since your child is  “attending” school from home now, this gives you the opportunity to observe how your child manages academics and to get a sense of what he or she is learning. You may be tempted to sit in on your child’s classes and closely monitor his or her activities, but don’t. Respect both your child’s and the other students’ privacy. Allow your little one some independence and let them own their learning. You may provide encouragement and support, but let children ask when they need help. 

Embrace the challenges and opportunities that come along with distance learning

Distance learning and traditional learning will never look exactly the same, and that’s okay. Remote learning may present its own challenges, but it also comes with unique opportunities. For example, distance learning gives students a chance to actively participate in their own education while also having access to support and encouragement from parents and other family members.

Make sure your little one feels supported on his or her journey in online learning. Have conversations with your child, and encourage him or her to talk about any challenges or struggles with the process. Remember to integrate fun into their educational activities when possible in order to help children embrace this new way of learning.

This new mode of communication and connection may be different from the traditional school setting, but with the help of these tips, parents can help ensure that their child is making the most of their education from home.

For more helpful parenting tips, or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your little one, please visit Cornerstone Learning Center