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5 suggested strategies for helping your child learn online

5 suggested strategies for helping your child learn online

We all want what’s best for our kids. Here are some tips for how to improve their workspaces for the best possible remote learning.

Now that we’re at least a month into the 2020-21 school year, one thing is clear: remote learning is the new normal for the foreseeable future. Even the majority of Hudson Valley schools offering on site classes again are also requiring at least partial distance learning, particularly for older kids. Given that option, some wary parents are still choosing to keep their kids home for all classes.

Since plunging into this new – for most – mode of teaching and parenting, families have been on a steep learning curve to try to discern how to make the most of it. Fortunately, some “best practices” have arisen.

Behavioral pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Nerissa Bauer, advises parents to “designate your child a workspace they can customize as their own to help get them excited for the day.” Whereas in the shutdown chaos of last spring, many families just placed kids at the kitchen table or on their bed, Bauer says it’s much better to create a personal space, and give the child ownership of it. If the home doesn’t have a lot of square footage, she suggests a portable trifold project display board that can be customized.

READ MORE: Set up a study space your child will love

Dr. Laura Phillips, a clinical neuropsychologist at the nonprofit Child Mind Institute, strongly advises limiting screens. I.e., keep a child away from anything other than the screen on which they are learning. That means television, iPad, and definitely cellphone. Also, close those multiple tabs.

If at all possible, both Bauer and Phillips say parents should check in at regular, pre-determined intervals, rather than leave a child to their own devices for hours. The regularity will also offer a sense of structure.

Not surprisingly, experts also stress the importance of getting away from these now even-more-omnipresent screens, also in a structured way. Make time for recess, a walk around the neighborhood, to the backyard (if you have one), or just stretching. Kids will return to their workspaces refreshed and more focused. Parents, too.

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