11 Tips For Managing Distance Learning

Tips for distance learning during COVID-19 and beyond.

Ways you can make distance learning fun for kids.

Everyone is experiencing a new normal and dealing with trying to find balance while staying at home. For parents, this is an especially trying time. Kids may have enjoyed the first few days of being away from school, but now they are missing their friends, their teachers, and the comforting routine of school. Distance learning may not be ideal for all families, but there are steps you can take to make the best of the situation and try to manage distance learning and still have some fun.

1. Set the tone with a positive attitude.

These are stressful times and now you have to take on the added responsibility of keeping your kids on track while they adjust to distance learning. Ultimately, your kids can sense your stress and they will end up feeling the same way. Try your best to project a positive attitude and understand that there will be an adjustment period, but with a plan in place, it won’t take long before your entire family finds a new groove.

2. Become a part of the global community.

Remember that both parents and kids aren’t in this alone. The country and the world are all facing similar challenges. Look for online forums and other resources where you can pick up tips from parents and find vital support that can help you through these times. It is also helpful for your kids to have a larger perspective of what is happening and see how families from all over the world are tackling the same challenges.

3. Familiarize yourself with the technology.

Different schools are using different programs, apps, and platforms to support distance learning. Be sure to take the time to register, log in, and explore the different programs before your child gets started. There is a chance your kids are already more tech savvy than you, but this will help you troubleshoot any problems and help them avoid frustration as they make the transition to distance learning.

4. Create a schedule and stick to it.

Make sure that you and your kids are getting up at your usual times, eating breakfast, showering, and getting ready for school. This will help everyone get in the right mindset and be prepared to sit down and learn. Adding structure to the day is an invaluable tool that will help everyone stay grounded and on track.

5. Set up a workstation.

Do your best to set up a designated area in the home where your kids can sit comfortably and do their work. Make sure they have all the supplies they need and are away from any distractions.

6. Give breaks and rewards.

Remember that the typical school day is filled with lots of transitions and students don’t spend hours sitting in front of the computer screen. Eight hours of screen time isn’t healthy for adults and it isn’t good for kids either. As you set up your schedule, be sure to incorporate regular breaks. These could include stretching and outside time so that your kids get moving throughout the day. Also, it is a good idea to reward them for completing tasks. Rewards will vary according to what motivates your kids, just be sure that it doesn’t include more screen time like watching TV or playing video games.

7. Take dance breaks.

Another great way to keep spirits up and get moving throughout the day is periodic music and dance breaks. Put on their favorite song and spend a few minutes letting loose. Music and dancing are great tools to help insert a little joy in their day.

8. Eat healthy snacks.

Focusing on a screen and sitting still can be a challenge for kids. You want to make sure that they are eating healthy brain food throughout the day to help them stay alert and engaged. Processed foods that are high in sugar should not be used as a reward. While these foods may provide a quick boost of energy, your kids will quickly crash and end up feeling sluggish. Some balanced snacks that will provide protein and slow-release carbohydrates for great brain food include eggs, seeds and nuts, fruit, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and celery and peanut butter.

9. Consider using eye supplements.

Prolonged periods of screen time can put strain on our eyes. If your kids are complaining about dry, itchy, or tired eyes, eye supplements or drops may be helpful. Products that are designed to simply wet the eye and don’t contain any additional medication are safe for kids and can be used to provide relief during this time of distance learning.

10. Connect with friends and family.

Everyone is feeling the effects of being isolated from friends and family. Make sure that you build a little time in your day for your kids to video chat with their friends and call family members. Work with them to design activities that they can do with several friends using programs like Zoom. Many families are organizing cooking nights where everyone gathers together and cooks the same recipe. This is a great way to get kids in the kitchen and help them interact with their friends.

11. Spend time outside.

Just because we are all being asked to stay home doesn’t mean we can’t still go outside. It is important for your child to get some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. If you have a family pet, send everyone outside to play fetch. Getting outside at the end of the school day is a great way to relax, release any pent up energy, and recharge after a day of distance learning. Make sure that this is a priority in order to keep them happy and looking forward to another day of school.

At Pediatric Dental Specialists, we are committed to helping you and your family stay happy and healthy, especially during these trying times. If you have more questions about how to continue to help your kids enjoy oral health, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are still here to help and support our community in any way we can.