How to Help Children Cope with Online Learning: A guide- Ashwika Rajan Henrietta Barnett

It’s been nearly 3 months since schools reopened their doors, however, a small number of children are self-isolating to contain the spread of COVID-19. Since then, isolating children have been completing lessons through an online schooling system.
Many parents all over the UK have been finding it exceedingly difficult to cope with their children at home. Many of them address the struggles of finding a balance between their busy, fast-paced work-from-home regime and their family life.

The age of a child often affects the way in which a parent deals with them. For instance, a younger child would need more guidance and support compared to an older child, who would be more independent. If you are dealing with a younger child, make sure you explain to them the importance of online schooling and establish that it is no different from physically being in school. Even if you have a busy work schedule, take some time to check on them regularly as they are more likely to be distracted. Not doing this will put your child in the mindset that they are unsupervised and are free to do anything. Make sure they are aware of the consequences that come with not completing work and the rewards that come with completing their work.

Younger children are also more likely to find it difficult to grasp things. If their foundation of knowledge is not strong, it will have a negative effect on their attainment in later years. Children can follow their online school routine but parents must ensure that they spend some time each day to consolidate what their child has learned. Ensure this happens every day so the lesson is still fresh in
the child’s mind and so it does not pile up. It is crucial to record their progress in some form. This could even be a small test at the end of the week. The early stages of a child’s academic career are the most important, so parents must ensure they take extra care to give their child a strong foundation.

If you are dealing with an older child, they are likely to be more independent and understanding, however, it is still important to explain to them the importance of online schooling. Do not create a barrier between you and them. Doing so will tempt them to do wrong things and stop them from sharing problems with you, due to the sense of lack of adult supervision. Like younger children, they must also know about consequences and rewards, but consequences must be enforced. It is important to be firm but fair.

Limit screen time on technological devices like phones and tablets. These can be very distracting and may affect your child’s concentration and focus on their work. Check their phones regularly, but not secretly. Do not do this on specific days (e.g. every Monday). This will mean that your child can prepare in advance for when you check their phone. Instead, you could do spontaneous spot-checks, which your child would not have been able to prepare for. This will allow you to spot abnormal activity and address it as soon as possible.

Also, make sure you track your child’s learning. Take some time every day to check what work they have done and if they have completed all the work for that day. If they have, you can reward them, this can be letting them watch TV or giving them some time on their phone. However, make sure that technological devices- laptops, phones, tablets, etc…- are not left in your child’s room when they go to bed. They will feel tempted to use these at night which could negatively affect their sleep pattern.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to guide your children through these daunting times. Every child is different, so you should shape their routine according to what you think is best for them.
Good Luck!

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