With online school education becoming a widespread practice, it is imperative that parents play a role in setting up a conducive home environment for the child, and ensuring they make their learning process as enriching as possible.
At the outset, parents may have to sometimes realise and emulate the role of a teacher and create an environment which replicates the learning environment of the physical world and is yet adjusted to the nuances of the online e-learning platform.
It may be a gross error on everyone’s part should the online school process be taken as akin to just having the child sit in front of a screen and logging on to lectures. This may not only make the learning process sub-optimal, but also impact the overall student outcomes envisaged as part of the learning process.
Having a parent become a stakeholder in ensuring that the online school process becomes conducive to a child’s education and is aligned to the child’s expectation can have remarkable effects on outcomes and improve student learning.
Below, we point out some ways in how one can prepare their child for Online School, and ensure they are on the path to achieve the desired outcomes.
Help create a designated workspace
Just like the classroom is designed to make child learning consistent, drive curiosity and enhance creativity, ensure that you create a dedicated space in the house for your child’s education. Ensure that the place is devoid of clutter, distractions, and has resources to help children stay focussed.
An added benefit of designating such a space will have the child automatically switch to a more sincere and serious mode once they are at the space, knowing fully well that the sanctity of the space shall command some serious learning.
At any point, this space should serve as the go-to place for the child’s academics and leaving that should translate into the off-classroom space for the child.
Obtain proper equipment
Reducing distractions, making the learning process smooth, and ensuring the child is up to speed with the class pace are elements clearly impacted by the technology at one’s disposal.
Having a comfortable pair of headphones will help the student stay on track in listening to the class and ensuring no vocal distractions come in place. A reliable internet connection will help not get cut-off during sessions. A large screen will help save strain on the eyes and make the reading process legible.
Additionally, a comfortable chair will compensate for any physical stress during long-working hours. You may further supplement the tools with a tablet, or a hand-held device which can be handy while the child wants to move around.
Do test runs
Before your child is about to start the online schooling process over e-learning platforms, it will be helpful for you to conduct a test run with your child.
Try running the same virtual conferencing platform and ask your child to navigate it. Make sure your child is aware of the mechanics of logging in, accessing study material, responding to online cues, and can essentially follow the academic instructions. Spend the first few days observing your child, course correcting their navigation, and helping them refine their accessibility to the online e-learning platform.
Stay in touch with the academic counsellor, and be updated with your school activities
Given the multi-prong nature of the online or virtual learning school programs, there may be a multitude of messages, schedules and event information flowing in on the school LMS which may be difficult for your child to track, understand, or react to.
As a parent, you should ensure that you’re consistently aware of the school updates – this will help you to ensure nothing is missed out as part of a child’s academic compliance.
Moreover, by keeping yourself abreast of the school activity flow, you will be aware well in-time to support your child in preparation towards the activity / event. An added advantage will be that should the need for clarification or follow-up be required, a parent can immediately get in-touch with the school to clarify their doubts and help the student move forward.
Take printouts for the upcoming weeks, and ensure you keep tasks stress-free by preparing well in advance.
Discipline and consistency are two key ingredients of any academic setup. While the pre-online world had students following the school established routines, it may be best to help your child establish a personalized calendar incorporating their live classes, self-paced learning, and other non-academic routines.
Have your student prepare their schedules weeks in advance – this will help them stay healthy and manage sleep routines, alongside keeping dedicated homework hours, and ensuring they get enough time for rest & recreation.
The process will psyche students up and help them get mentally prepared for what is coming for them. Additionally, this will help parents adjust their schedules as well to ensure they can spend dedicated time with their children.
Make their breaks enriching with social elements
The online e-learning platforms in any online school program may render the child without any social contact for brief periods of time. At the same time, the demands of corporate lifestyles may require parents to stay busy till odd hours.
By planning well in advance and ensuring you’re able to make up for lost time with your children, you can ensure that your children stay mental healthy and active.
Find avenues where you can schedule community meet outs, local group sessions or sporting activities in a safe manner for your child during their free time during the day. Have supervised social interaction sessions where your children get an opportunity to meet individuals from varied backgrounds.
Plan activities such as trips to museums, recreational centres, and other places where your child can also augment their learning and explore other areas of interest, alongside natural social interactions.
Do note that every e-learning platform, or curriculum over an online school platform will be markedly different from one another. Hence, understanding how the online school functions, it’s schedule, flow of academic and non-academic activities will be key to your contribution to your child’s education.