My daughter needs to have structure and routine in her life as well as accountability. She prefers visual learning aids and the opportunity to ask questions while learning the new material. Collaboration with peers and class discussions also deepen her understanding of content. All, of which I'm not sure will be as overtly and readily available on a computer screen.
She has no experience with online class delivery. I also worry about her ability to stay focused on learning in our busy household. I have so many thoughts. Will her professors try to make lessons interactive or will they post presention slides with a dozen bullet points? When and how long will they be available for taking questions and clarifying information? What will her final exams look like? How will they ensure she still receives her learning accommodations?
As she prepares to come home and learn online, I am also getting ready. I'm not just making sure she has her favorite food in the house or her bed has fresh sheets. I'm also trying to create an environment in which she can successfully adapt to this new way of university life.
I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only parent who is simultaneously relieved that their child will be socially distanced from the rest of the student body but also concerned about their academic progress. So, last night I sat down and made a list of ways in which I am going to support my daughter's new digital learning experience. I thought I would share them with you in case you need some ideas as well! Keep in mind that these ideas can be adapted for a wide range of ages - from preschool to college!
1. Create or find a place in the home that will be free of distractions. Remove the television, limit noise, and take down photos or pictures on the walls that can draw attention.
2. Consider blocking outside distractions that can be seen through a window.
3. Ensure appropriate lighting.
4. Create ways to keep paperwork organized such as using binders, file folders, file trays, and bins.
|Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com|
5. If a room is not available, think about making an age- appropriate study carrel from a table and cardboard box (I love this example for younger students). Learn how to make a study carrel here.
|Photo Courtesy of Parents.com|
1. Gather supplies such as:
- sticky notes
2. Keep supplies accessible and organized such as putting them in jars, pencil boxes, and ziploc bags.
|Found on Amazon.com|
1. Print graphic organizers to help your child take notes and understand material that is presented online.
2. Provide manipulatives such as blocks, pasta, or beans.
|Photo Courtesy of The End in Mind|
3. Get to know websites that can teach and clarify concepts such as:
- Litcharts - easy to understand literature guides
- Khan Academy - course instruction and explanations
- BrainPop - interactive instruction
- How Stuff Works - explains thousands of topics
- Duolingo - learn a language
- Math is Visual - math explained in pictures
- AnkiApp - flashcards for almost anything
- FunBrain - books, games, and videos to make learning interactive
- Do2Learn - concepts that are simplified
- Sherlock Center - adapted and accessible books
- Reading A-Z - online reading program
- Learn Zillion - online courses to keep learning
- Course Hero - online study resources, test prep, and notes
- Quizlet - online flashcards
- Online Binder of Modified Lessons - dozens of free modified lessons
4. Look for study guide books to help older students develop a further understanding of material. Many are available on Amazon.
1. Create a schedule for learning. Find times when your child learns best and stick to it.
2. Use a teaching tool such as Pomodoro Timer which teaches kids how to manage time and work flow.
|Pomodoro Timer Technique|
3. Help keep your child on track using a checklist of lessons and homework that have to get done.
If you have any more ideas to support your kids while they learn from home, please comment below.
Stay healthy everyone!