In many instances kids are running around the house during class or trying to chat with the others they see on screen. There is the real problem where kids are generally not associating virtual school with “real” school.
Although eLearning is a relatively new way of doing things for many people, remote learning actually has been with us for quite awhile.
This is good news as far as “how to cope” information goes. This is because there are some great ideas coming from other (and more experienced) frustrated parents of how to get your kids to cope with online classrooms.
The list of suggestions from parents to help kids stay focused during Zoom class include:
Preparing ahead of time is helpful. Take the time to go through the “before school prep checklist” with your child so you will know that when that virtual bell rings they are good to go.
Consider such things as; ensuring your child has eaten, gone to the bathroom, and has the right books and scribblers open and ready for the class about to commence.
Keeping the classes small and limiting it to 5 – 7 students, seems to be more effective for the teacher (and more productive for the student) than a class of 20 – 30. The kids get more “me time” with the teacher and more focused.
Adding to that benefit, and considering that regular in-school class time is generally 30 – 40 minute classes; With a smaller number of students, a teacher is able to teach the same subject in half that time. This enables the teacher to double up on smaller classes over the same amount of time.
Using fidget busters during Zoom class helps the kids when they are getting distracted from becoming disruptive to others. For example they can wiggle on a wobble cushion, spin a spinner, or pedal on their desk bike.
Remember to schedule beneficial activity breaks between classes so your child is ready to focus on the next class on-time.
You might also add “learn to mute the computer” to the checklist so your child isn’t talking audibly during class session. They do need to know how to mute and unmute for their participation as well.
Virtual School: Staying on Task With Assignments
When you don’t have to physically pass in an assignment anymore it can be easy to forget about it.
Kids are now going to have to learn how to maintain and read a schedule. When assignments and homework has been given out, the student will have to know how to add this to a schedule, understand time-tables, and know how to return it to the teacher virtually for grading.
Hopefully the teachers will be there to remind them about upcoming due-dates. But if you are virtually educating with pre-recorded elearning courses, and there is no live interaction, a self-monitored schedule will have to be followed.
There are some fantastic scheduler style white boards that you can pin up in your child’s study area or just use washable crayons and mark it directly on the wall (kids love writing on the wall).
Paying Attention & Staying Engaged while eLearning at Home
One way to get your kids to pay attention is to make a game out of it where you can and at minimum, make it interactive.
An interactive glass will be more likely to keep their attention. Uncomplicated methods like calling on the children or opening a feedback channel will do this.
Simple little quizzes during class will also help to keep them engaged. Something that pre-teaches them can get their attention. For example: “How many years ago do you think this dinosaur was roaming the earth?” Have all the attendees guess and they will see how close they got and then learn the right answer.
Other simple game type ideas for interacting teaching methods can be like “fill in the blank”, quiz show style, or riddles, and more.
Sprinkling these little “games” in with the class teaching will really help the kids pay attention in eClass.