Our world has changed drastically, just in the past few months. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, school after school is transitioning to online learning. Students and teachers alike are taking concern for each other’s safety and finding ways to continue learning via online platforms. Although there have been bumps in the road, the functionality of online school is incredible. Here at the Tenney School, we are committed to maintain the highest academic excellence even in the midst of this crisis. Our transition to online has been incredibly successful, and we appreciated our parents and students for their commitment to education! As we continue to develop our methods, we offer you five tips to make online learning successful in your home.
1. Make a plan as a family.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, most families are beginning to see a lot more of each other than usual. While extra family time is a good thing, being at home together all day can create struggles. Tasks that are usually completed outside the home (like work and school) suddenly must completed in this new setting. Different schedules must suddenly be able to fit together. Parents and children (and older and younger siblings) must learn to work together. Thankfully, a little communication right at the get-go can go a long way. Plan to meet as a family so each family member can make his or her needs known. Establish which times of day or which rooms will be quiet zones. Create rules for private time and together time.
2. Create a quiet space to enhance learning.
Each student needs a place to call their own for study purposes. If multiple students are in your family, they can share the space so long as any guidelines are understood by everyone. It is preferable to set aside an entire room where students can study, attend conference calls, and complete homework. Make sure students can access good Wi-Fi and whatever study materials they need without having to leave. Keep the space neat and beautiful so students can enjoy studying.
3. Maintain a consistent schedule.
Schedule is an important part of keeping up with school. Although the world seems like it has turned upside down, you can still help your student maintain control of their studies by keeping up a routine. This does not necessarily mean you have to keep the same routine you did while the student was going to school. But there should be a well-delineated schedule in your home. (A schedule will also help family members work together!) Take your student’s needs and personality into account when creating a quarantine routine.
4. Ask students to dress up for school.
Doing school at home comes with the temptation to stay in sweatpants and a hoodie all day. While this is fine for a day or two (especially to relieve stress at the beginning), it is not a good practice long-term. When you become sloppy in your clothing habits, it is far easier to become sloppy in other aspects of life as well. Students should prepare for school almost the same way they did when they were going to a classroom. Encourage students to maintain good hygiene and change out of pajamas before starting schoolwork for the day.
5. Maximize the benefits of being at home.
Although quarantine can be stressful, you can easily find the silver lining. Make the most of the benefits of being at home together! Because work and school commutes are nonexistent, use the extra time to build your bond as a family. Prepare food, play games, and watch movies together. Also, you can help your children learn home economics by having them cook, clean, redecorate, etc. Let them experiment with creating/designing things themselves and encourage them to learn new skills in the home. Talk through things if something is not working (like a schedule), and be willing to make changes.