Like many of us, your child may be adapting to the increased use of laptops and technology at home, particularly so with Early Years Education. Pedagogists are divided as to the cognitive benefits that digital learning can deliver, with whole debates from Montessori to Steiner Waldorf practitioners urging caution over digital uptake. The truth is, digital learning should never replace physical experiences. But it can be a very powerful tool to augment it. And with the popularity of online lessons growing for home school, we have put together five tips that will help make the transition smoother and help to keep your child’s attention and focus during remote lessons in home school.
1. Create a Comfortable Environment
When setting the laptop up for an online class, it may be tempting to have children sitting at a desk, in a layout similar to that of adults working from home. However, children are not accustomed to sitting in front of a laptop for an extended period of time. Therefore, allow your child to sit in a way that is comfortable for them, whether that be on the sofa, on the floor or anywhere that feels natural.
By having the laptop positioned in a location that is low to the floor and gives a wide angle view of the room, they have the ability to roam, whilst listening. Play is a useful tool for learning, as it allows children to make sense of the world around them. Therefore, by allowing and encouraging movement, your child will feel more at ease and will remain curious.
2. Reduce Distractions
The home is certainly not designed to be a classroom, so there may be lots of distractions that can avert your child’s focus from the lesson. Find a spot that is not only comfortable but quiet and relatively clear of clutter. Establish boundaries for this space, such as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This could be allowing your child to have one or two soft toys to cuddle during the class, but not too many as they could easily lose concentration.
3. Have a Routine
Create a routine for your child, that designates time for both learning and play. For example, at nursery, the day is structured and activities take place at an established time and for a pre-planned duration, which helps to manage children’s expectations. Communicate with your child what the day will look like, so they can form an idea of what’s going to happen throughout the day and not be startled by any unpredictability.
In addition, it is important to keep a regular break schedule, so that children do not get overwhelmed. If you can see their frustration levels are increasing, allow them to have a few minutes rest. New routines can be challenging, so creating one that is simple and flexible will help them feel calmer and improve engagement.
4. Give Positive Feedback
You may find that without classmates, your child’s motivation has decreased. Partaking in Live sessions will allow your child to feel connected to other children and their teacher but when using Pre-recorded sessions, more positive reassurance and encouragement may be needed. Words of support go a long way in motivating a child and when they feel they are doing well, they do even better!
5. Be patient
It is completely natural for young children to be easily distracted and lose focus. The older they get, the better their ability to concentrate on a task for an extended period of time will be. Therefore, don’t worry if your child’s attention seems to be everywhere at once. One of our main goals is to entertain your children and have fun! So be patient and understand that learning may not always be obvious.
Overall, online lessons are an invaluable learning resource that can aid your child’s development when they’re made to be appealing and engaging. We hope that these tips will help you and your child get the most from them!
For more advice and tips, you should have a look at our other blog posts, to explore the wonders of bilingual education and gain access to a wealth of activity ideas.