With many schools switching to remote teaching, parents are trying to figure out how to give their children the best chance to succeed. Here are some tips that will help.
Set aside a dedicated space. Having a physical space that is dedicated to schoolwork will help get children, and parents, differentiate between doing schoolwork, and just being at home. Try and set aside a corner of a room for a small desk or table, and keep all the necessary supplies close by. It is extremely difficult to remain focused on a task when you have to make trips around the house to get needed supplies, and stepping away from the desk will introduce lots of opportunities to get distracted. If you don’t have space for another desk, try setting up temporary dividers on the family dining table. You can create separate dividers for different subjects, with frequently needed information applied on each one.
Here is a video for an idea of how to set up the dividers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxyusiXuQdQ&
If you need a place to store the supplies, we use a mobile cart of drawers like this. https://amzn.to/2QkfUG0
Get a good internet connection. If at all possible, connect the school computer directly to your router with a network cable. It will provide a faster and more stable connection than wireless does. This is especially important for video chats. While not strictly necessary, it will make the whole experience much smoother.
Protect your kids online. To monitor and control computer usage, create an individual Microsoft Account on the computer for your child. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026923/windows-10-create-a-local-user-or-administrator-account Once that’s done, Windows 10 has some very powerful and effective controls built in. They allow parents to block websites and web content, track usage, set time limits, share calendars, and more. https://account.microsoft.com/family/about
Find a good chair. Ergonomics are just as important for kids as they are for adults, posture problems now can become big health problems in the future. Physical discomfort and fatigue also make it harder to concentrate. Here is an article reviewing childrens chairs to give you an idea of what to look for. https://www.imore.com/best-desk-chair-kids Remember, there is high demand right now, so finding something in stock may be difficult. When you find a deal, jump on it. Also, add a small step stool for your kids to set their feet on. Feet dangling off the chair is not only uncomfortable, it can cause dangerous blood clots even in children.
Take care of yourself. All these tips apply for those of us working from home also. We are going to be working or going to school from home for the foreseeable future, so let’s try and reduce little annoyances. They add up, and over time make the whole experience stressful and exhausting.
Finally, BE PATIENT. This is a new routine and experience for everyone, and change is always difficult. It’s ok if it’s hard and things don’t go smoothly at first. Learn the lessons that come along, be adaptable, and keep moving forward. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help!
We are all in this together.