Has the closure of schools and educational centres disrupted your child’s learning process? While online classes have come up to try and bridge this gap, there are several challenges that parents face in helping their children adapt to this new form of learning. Moving from a classroom setup where they get to physically interact with their friends to a purely online form of interaction can be challenging for children, but there are some simple steps you can take as a parent to help your child make the most of this online learning experience.
Let’s explore the challenges that parents and children are facing with online learning, and how they can be overcome.
Headaches & strain on the eyes
Switching to online classes inevitably means that children are spending more time in front of a screen. This prolonged exposure to the light that is emitted from a screen can strain the eyes, causing itching, dryness, headaches and burning sensations. The solution is to plan their online sessions in a way that they get frequent breaks from their laptops/screens. Choose sessions that are no longer than 30 - 40 minutes at a stretch, and ensure that they take a 20 second “screen break” after every 20 minutes spent in front of a screen.
Bad posture such as slouching for long periods at a time puts immense pressure on the back muscles and ligaments causing neck aches and back pain. Ensure that your child is sitting in a comfortable yet ergonomically proper position. It is important to sit with a straight back, and laptops and screens should be elevated to eye level to avoid neck pain. Elbows should be placed at a 90 degree angle to the flat surface.
Lack of motivation
Proper and constant motivation is necessary to keep your child interested and engaged with the learning process while they are adapting to the challenges of online learning. The lack of social interaction with their friends can make them disinterested and distant. Encourage your child to set up virtual study groups with their closest friends to make them feel more connected. Take a personal interest in their projects and stay up-to-date with their learning progress. This will also help you set them realistic short-term goals, which will give them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Change in behaviour
A sudden change in routine can impact different children in different ways. Having to stay at home for long stretches of time is an unusual experience, and this can manifest itself in the form of behavioural issues in children, like mood swings or tantrums. As a parent, it is important to accept this unhappiness on a child’s part, but at the same time constantly communicate and speak openly with them. Understand their emotional and physical needs, and try to fulfil them to the best of your abilities. As adults, this is a time for us to be more tolerant, since these behavioural changes are a reaction to a very abnormal situation.
How to prepare for the session
There are several small steps you can take to ensure that your child is excited, and mentally & physically ready for their online learning session.
Make sure they are well-rested - Time their nap and play time in a way that they are well-rested right before the session is about to begin. This helps them concentrate better and also participate in activities with enthusiasm.
Keep refreshments at hand - This is extra important if the session that your child is taking part in involves physical activity of any sort. Make sure that they have easy access to drinking water or a healthy snack so that they stay energetic and don’t get distracted by having to go to the kitchen to grab something.
Set up the space - To get your child in the right mindspace for a particular session, set up the space beforehand to suit the needs of the session. For example, if the session involves activities like exercising or playing games, push the furniture away and make space. Set up a yoga mat and any other equipment they may need. This solves a dual purpose - it makes the child feel special since the space was set up exclusively for them, and it also helps them to completely immerse themselves in the session without worrying about any missing bits and pieces.
Ask for their opinion - At the end of every session, ask your child what they thought about the day. Did they enjoy the activities? What was their favourite? Did they create something that they are really proud of? This regular dialogue after the session gives them a sense of validation and a feeling of being in control of the situation.
We hope these tips will help you give your child a greatly enhanced online learning experience, which will lead to them absorbing knowledge better, and improving their skills with enthusiasm & vigour!
We understand every parent’s concern of screen time, which is why we have designed the sessions to last between 30mins to 45 mins at the most.
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Happy Learning!