- Parents can dedicate a study area and set a routine to help their child manage online classes.
- Track screen time and allow your child to take short breaks for stretches and simple exercises.
- Establish a tech-free zone where no one in the family should use their gadgets.
Going back to normal is starting to sound like a fabled future. For many parents, the COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest challenge to combat. Not to mention having to wrestle personal time with online learning.
Despite these clear challenges, the pandemic has also spurred incredible opportunities. It offered flexibility and emphasized the resilient spirit among young learners.
If you’re looking for ways to balance online learning and offline home life, don’t fret. Here’s how you can guide your kid to learn online while enjoying life at home:
Dedicate a Study Area
Find an area where your child can join online classes and do their homework. Setting up a study area helps create a separation between study time and home time.
Through this, your child will associate the study area for studies only. Leaving that space is like going out of school after classes have ended.
When your child studies at home, it’s easy to blur the lines between online learning and offline life. Your child might find themselves using offline time for studies and vice versa.
With a routine, your child will know what to do at a certain time. For instance, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. may be for morning classes. Then 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. can be set for afternoon playing.
Set a Routine
Online learning will have your child sitting in front of the computer for quite some time. Sometimes, they’ll continue to use the computer for games after the end of classes. It’s best to track their screen time to balance their time on and off the internet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 2 to 5 years old have a one-hour screen time limit. For older children taking classes online, parents can still minimize the time they spend using their computers after doing their schoolwork.
Take Short Breaks
Online learning can be a drag when students have to sit down with zero stimulation. This is why taking breaks is important because it helps kids stay active.
The American International School of Guangzhou recommends 10 minutes of physical activity after a 20-minute class. If your child spends a longer time for classes, adjust the time break. Encourage them to do simple exercises like running in place or stretches.
Establish a Tech-Free Zone
Establishing a tech-free zone can help balance online learning and offline life. For instance, no one is allowed to bring their phones during dinner time. Make sure everyone in your family does this so your child can emulate your actions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggests reducing children’s screen time before bed. You can also have a separate charging spot that’s far from their bedrooms.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s easy to feel frustrated at times like these. You might end up setting unrealistic standards for your child. Remember, they’re having a hard time with online learning too.
As a parent, it’s best to keep your expectations realistic. Don’t expect a flawless online learning experience. What’s better is to anticipate the challenges and be ready to face them.
There are many ways to help balance online learning and offline home life. All these methods involve efforts from both child and parent. So join your child in their journey in online learning
ACS International Schools. (n.d.). Parent’s guide to distance learning. https://www.acs-schools.com/parents-guide-distance-learning
American International School of Guangzhou. (n.d.). Online learning: Balancing activities with screen time. https://www.aisgz.org/news/detail/~board/featured-news/post/online-learning-balancing-activities-with-screen-time
Mayo Clinic. (2019, June 20). Screen time and children: How to guide your child. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/screen-time/art-20047952