Navigating Online Learning Preparations At Home
Although parents are also teachers in their own way, most of them still leave the core of teaching in the hands of professional educators. However, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, much of the responsibility for your child’s learning has fallen on parents’ shoulders. COVID-19 has affected everyone in unprecedented ways, and people are taking to the virtual world as businesses and schools shut down. With the closing of physical classrooms, online learning has become a new normal for your child and it is now an indispensable educational tool. As a parent, here’s how you can navigate online learning preparations in order to help your child get ready for their virtual classes.
The classroom is an effective learning space as students enter it knowing that learning is meant to take place there. At home, we should mimic this by setting up a space that is dedicated to learning. This designated space should be away from the areas that are often used as the family’s recreational space. Think of it as creating a home office but it is a learning space for your child.
Set up a desk or table and prepare a set of stationery. Have your child’s school bag, books and other learning materials placed next to the table where they can be reached easily. Get a comfortable chair and remove any clutter around the space as they can become potential distractions. Prepare a tablet or laptop so that your child can gain access to their virtual classroom.
Helping with Learning Resources and Materials
Virtual lessons usually start off with a lot of teachers’ guidance. However, as time goes by, students are expected to become more independent. Before long, students will be expected to know where and how they can retrieve learning resources and materials before their lessons begin. You will need to teach your child how to download and print out their learning materials. Set up a system for your child so they can refer to the resources that they need and prepare them before the start of every virtual lesson.
Establishing a Routine
Even though students are not expected to get up as early as they normally would for regular classroom lessons, they should still be encouraged to start their day early and follow a structured routine as they would during normal school days. This will foster positive learning habits, discipline, and independence that will continue when schools reopen.
Discussing and Managing Expectations
School closure provides an opportunity for parents to spend more time with their child. Take this chance to communicate with your child. Have discussions about why learning has to take place at home. For example, you can explain that the pandemic has caused schools to close to prevent the virus from spreading. However, your child still need to continue studying and online classes are conducted to minimize disruptions and ensure no student is left out.
Support Your Child’s Learning
Whenever possible, look through your child’s work and check on their understanding frequently. This will help you and your child keep abreast of the learning that is taking place at home and allow your child to seek clarifications. Make your child feel safe and ensure that they do not feel any sense of displacement because of the school closure. When you are actively involved in your child’s virtual learning journey, you are making the most out of the time spent together at home.
Although schools are slowly reopening in the United States, parents should know that their child may face a future in which online learning will be part of the curriculum. Therefore, preparing early for e-learning will help make the transition easier.