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How can parents prepare their kids for distance learning this coming school year?

How can parents prepare their kids for distance learning this coming school year?


Even with the surging cases of COVID-19 infection here in our country, the school year will begin on August 24. Yes, that will be the official start date according to the Department of Education but there are conditions regarding safety. President Duterte is allowing face-to-face classes in low-risks GCQ areas only.  Moreover, Education Secretary Leonor Briones added that teachers will conduct face-to-face classes once or twice a week only.

Photo from Common Sense Media

This means the majority of Filipino parents and their children will have to adapt to alternative means like distance learning, blended learning, and even homeschooling. Some of you may have worries and doubts: “Can I really do this? How can I prepare my children for this?”

We understand that you may not be that totally ready for Distance Learning. However, we have some tips that may help you and your kid adjust to this new set-up:

Designate a study area for your child

Photo from Extra Space Storage

Before the online classes, make sure to clear away all clutter for learning time. Why? Reducing clutter helps students focus. Thus, it’s important to set-up a quiet and clean area for them to do their homework. For starters, perhaps you can convert a small kitchen table into a learning station. Remember to turn off the TV and remove all kitchen items near it. Instead of using the sofa or bed, have a desk and chair for your kid.

Make see to it to remove all sources of distraction

Photo from Parkway West Pathfinder

Normally, our homes have several sources of distractions such as video games, computer games, social media, TV, toys, and even pets. So what should you do as a parent? Make a list of all the possible things that can destroy your child’s focus. You do not have to take them all away but find ways to limit them during study time. Social media can be pretty distracting so you’ll have to find a way to eliminate online temptations. For example, turn off the Wi-Fi and/or cellular service after he/she finished downloading an assignment or seatwork.

Require your child to post his/her schedule where you both can see it

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You can help your child stay on top of school deadlines by making a visual schedule near the learning space. This will help in training your kids to stay organized and it will be easier for you to check their progress. You can help them post a calendar and mark it with due dates. After that, teach them to plan backward from the due dates.

Aside from that, you can use visual organizers to break down a heavy assignment into steps and include strategies to finish it. One good tip is to use color-coding for each task. For example, your child can use a red pen for Math, a blue pen for Reading, a green pen for Science and so on.

Make them exercise regularly even for a few minutes

Photo from Smar Parenting Online

There are studies that show exercise can help us think better. It’s easy for both kids and adults to have a sedentary lifestyle when staying at home most of the time. However, physical movement can improve your child’s problem-solving skills, memory, and attention. Moreover, it is a natural way to reduce stress and prevent anxiety.

So what you can do to make sure you and your kids are being active even inside your house? You can look for family-friendly workouts that can like dancing, table tennis, or playing consoles like Nintendo Switch or Xbox. Another way is making them do light physical chores like sweeping the floor, folding the clothes, or wiping the windows.

It won’t be easy for you and your child to adapt to this new type of learning. But it’s not impossible and you should remember that it’s better to make those efforts than worry about your child’s health and well-being.

How about you? What are some of your tips for distance learning?

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