A study from the last quarter of 2020 found that many students are struggling with distance learning. And it's no surprise: Extensive research found that while there are a lot of benefits to distance learning, like giving students access to resource and information they might not have access to in a traditional classroom setting, there are also plenty of cons and setbacks too, like stunted development and decreased motivation.
Now more than ever, as parents, we need to find ways to adjust and support our kids, especially since these are unprecedented challenges that our children might not have the resources to navigate. Here are some tips and pointers to help your child who's struggling with studying from home.
Find their learning style and encourage and support it.
One way to combat boredom and restlessness in your kids is to observe their learning style and support it. Here are the four main learning types and how you can help enforce them:
- Auditory. You can help your kid find podcasts that explain their lessons and materials well. You can also play some classical music in the background; ask your child if it helps them focus while studying.
- Visual. If your kid learns better through colors and graphics, help them study through meta cards and visual presentations.
- Reading or writing. There are plenty of books on the market that explain common textbook lessons in more child-friendly ways, like a kids' encyclopedia. ;
- Kinesthetic. If your child needs to move throughout the day, stretch with them during lunch breaks or recess.
We already know that kids get distracted pretty easily. Especially for lessons that are a bit more boring and repetitive than others, it's easy for kids to check out, especially since their teachers might not monitor how they respond through the screen.
If your kids tend to focus more when they're surrounded by plants, artworks, or other things they love, maybe you need to incorporate more of those things into their homework station. If they tend to get distracted by multiple items, consider switching their homework station so that it's facing the window, so they have a view of greenery and the yard. If they learn better with white noise in the background, consider playing it faintly while they're in class or while they're studying.
Consider repainting their rooms, as well. There are many theories on color and how they affect our moods and productivity, but you can also ask your child what colors make them feel energized and motivated. Another is to keep their room clean and organized. Teach them how to keep their room tidy so that they're not distracted by clutter while on Zoom calls or doing homework.
Help them create healthy rhythms of work, rest, and play.
Kids don't always have the resources to understand their limits, just like adults. Teach your child that rest and play are crucial to their development and help them do better at school. Creating healthy rhythms means helping them build productive habits, like waking up early, doing some fun child-friendly physical exercises, and eating nutritiously.
It also involves teaching them to take breaks when they need it and allow themselves to have fun, even for a few minutes during their day. Teach them how to schedule their weekends so that they have time for all three: homework, resting and playing. The best way they can understand and practice it is through your example, as well.
Be present physically and emotionally.
Being present is more than just about being there physically; it's giving your child the security and assurance that you are always with them and that you have their backs. This sense of security doesn't just happen; you need to be intentional in building that relationship and trust, and it starts with you showing sincerity when asking how they are. Kids can tell when we're asking out of genuine concern and when we're doing so out of duty. Let them know that you are their friend and that they can count on you.
If your kids need extra help with their homework, consider outsourcing your other home maintenance tasks that take plenty of time, like doing the laundry, deep-cleaning your house, and dryer vent cleaning. One day, your kid will look back and remember that you did all you can to help them get through this difficult time.
There are also a lot of options for external help, like tutoring and therapy. Observe your kid and ask them how you can help. They will appreciate that their mom or dad is fighting this battle alongside them.