Online learning is not entirely new; in fact, it’s been around for years, the only difference today is, it is now required for all students– starting from Kindergarten.
Just to be clear, this mode of learning would not be the only way where students can access learning during these pandemic times.
It is just one of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) many ways to provide learning to students while they are being protected from the risks of the deadly virus.
But it doesn’t mean that parents should downplay the role of online learning in this ‘new normal’ setting that we see today.
Even though it is just one of DepEd’s many ways to provide a bridge between learning and students, it is necessary that everybody, most notably the parents, must be well-versed on how to prepare themselves and their children with this new setting.
Here are the essential things that parents should know to better prepare for DepEd Commons online learning:
Take Control of Distractions
Classrooms, as everybody knows, can also be a source of distraction for learners, and with online learning where gadgets are right in front of them, distractions are more tempting than ever.
This is why parents should be active in guiding their children when they are in online sessions.
With mobile games, videos, and music just a few clicks away from children, parents must set rules on finishing their kids’ school works before diving into these entertainments.
But parents should not force their kids to finish the entire online activities for the day before letting their kids play mobile games or watch videos. These things must be done in between online activities to refresh their interest and attention.
The main goal here is to prevent these entertainments from taking over the entire learning session.
Since children are so vulnerable to these distractions, parents must be active in enforcing necessary rules to make sure that with each online learning session, their kids are actually learning – and not being entirely distracted.
Find a Place Conducive for Learning
You may have successfully managed the distractions that your child can encounter on her gadget, but she’s sitting beside her sister’s crib, who constantly cries, like, for every minute.
That’s the next thing you need to think about: the place where your child can totally focus on her lessons and activities.
Of course, the ideal place must be quiet and comfortable, and if it’s not entirely possible inside your home, you can rearrange some of your furniture or make a makeshift personal classroom.
It must be a place where you can continuously monitor your child while being kept from external noises and discomfort as much as possible.
Establish a Schedule
A schedule will help your kids properly fulfill all her online tasks on time while maintaining the quality of each output. That’s why a well laid out schedule must be established so you and your kids would not have a hard time making each online learning session a success.
Bumps along the way can always come, even in those times when you least expect it, that’s why schedules are important so kids can be aware of the things they need to prioritize.
As we all know, they can easily be lost on their priorities when tantrums and distractions set in, that’s why knowing what to do next (through schedules) gives them a mental reminder of the things they need to fulfill.
Remind Them That Vacation is Over
Home can be, in itself, the greatest distraction for kids in fulfilling their online tasks, because they are now in a less controlled environment – their comfort place. It gives them the impression that their online learning sessions are nothing but a part (or even an extension) of their vacation.
That is why strict rules must be implemented and make each online session as close as to what they have experienced inside the school.
It is also a great idea to get them dressed every online session, but not necessarily with school uniforms,
but with clothes that they don’t usually wear inside the house.
It sends them a signal that every online session must be treated special and not something that should be taken for granted.
Never Forget Snack Time and Recess
Let’s face it; these are the two things that our kids look forward every time they go to school, isn’t it? Then why exclude these things in their online learning sessions?
The idea is to make the online learning experience as close to the classroom experience as possible, so they can easily adjust to this mode of learning.
These two breaks also act as a ‘breather’ for kids so they can freshen their attention again. As we all know, if kids are already bored with what they are doing, it’s almost impossible to convince them to continue it properly.
That’s why these breathers are necessary parts of every online learning session.
Bring in Their Friends Through Video Chats
What’s the next best thing that kids love when they are inside the school? Talking with their friends! And your child has been so used to talking with their friends while they were still at school.
So, to make their online learning as fun as possible, you must also allow these interactions to take place during their break times. How fun would it be hearing your child and friends talking with each other again, and maybe sharing their experiences in online learning?
It brings not only delight in children but making online learning as interesting as possible, knowing that their friends are doing it too.
Mix Online Learning With Traditional Learning Mediums
As they say, too much of everything is bad, and that also goes with online learning. Too much screen time can certainly bring a number of eye problems for your child, such as eye fatigue, dry eyes, and even nearsightedness.
Parents should be aware that it is also necessary to mix online learning with traditional ways of learning.
There are sessions where children must do their activities on an actual paper or reading stories on actual textbooks, which would not only protect their eyes but bring the classroom experience as close as possible inside your home.
Connect With Other Parents
It would be ironic if you allow your children to make connections with their friends online while you isolate yourself from other parents when it comes to dealing with online learning.
To improve and hone your child’s online learning experience, you should also be aware of how other parents are dealing with this new normal setting. You can certainly learn new ways and strategies from them, which you can use to leverage online learning even better.