Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     K-12    

Tips to ease kids into online learning this fall



You, as a parent, play a crucial role in the success of your child’s experience

online learning, kids, computers, social media, distractions

By the grace of technology, even if your kids can't go to school in person due to the pandemic, they can continue to learn from home, usually through a combination of videoconferencing and working with emailed or online materials. While the teachers are still in charge, you, as parents, are vital to making sure kids adapt to learning in the home environment.

One of the dangers of working on a computer is the siren call of other activities, from social media to surfing the web. Establish the importance of leaving such distractions aside until schoolwork is completed.

Similarly, studying in a room full of toys may interfere with your kid's concentration. Try to find a quiet place in the house where your child can work without clutter to suck up attention.

Children have varying abilities to focus. For a young child, 5 to 25 minutes is probably the longest amount of time they can devote to a single learning session, said Linda Carling, an associate research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education. Be sure to build in breaks between sessions, with chances to stretch, have a snack, or even go outside to run around.   

Establish a regular timetable for the day, which helps you maintain a work schedule and helps your child know what to expect. Make a chart with times specified for meals, study sessions, social interaction, exercise, and other activities. Ideally, your child should wake up at the time they would rise to prepare for going to school and begin studying at the time their in-person classes would begin.

However, you might want to make adjustments if  you find your child is better able to concentrate at specific times of day. If your child is frustrated or anxious, an unscheduled break is perfectly acceptable. One of the virtues of learning at home is that it's easier to build flexibility into the schedule to accommodate individual needs.

For a child with special needs, parents should meet with staff to review the individualized education program and discuss how to adapt it to the virtual learning setting. Be sure to make use of technologies built into most phones and laptops, such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text, which can be of help to kids who struggle with reading and writing.



More Homeschooling


  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need to have some play time too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • Everything you need to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 3 ways people of all ages can make the most of International Youth Day

    Celebrate youth activists and combat ageism

    August 12 is International Youth Day, a United Nations effort to celebrate youth activists, combat ageism and help bridge gaps between generations working toward the same change. read more »
  • 4 ways to get involved this global volunteer month

    It's a good time to get in on the action

    Global Volunteer Month, celebrated throughout April, is a time to recognize people who actively support their communities through volunteerism and active civic engagement. It’s also a time to get in on the action. However, if you’re like many people, you may not know where to begin. read more »
  • Minimize the risk of child identity theft

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection offers advice

    Child Identity Theft is a growing problem. According to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft for those under 19 years old grew 60% in three years. read more »
  • 5 reasons why your child should (and can) learn how to play chess

    A revolutionary new game that helps kids learn this game of strategy

    Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in history, with early forms of the game dating back to the 6th century CE. The game has certainly seen a revival since the pandemic began, as people around the globe have dusted off their chess boards and even binged one of the most-watched series ever inspired by the masterful game for much-needed entertainment. read more »
  • Visit cool sculpture parks in the Hudson Valley

    These sculptures are generally huge and sure to please

    Visit fun and educational sculpture gardens in the Hudson Valley. Sculpture Parks and their gardens are a unique way for families to appreciate and enjoy art. The open spaces are wonderful for kids of all ages. Most locations offer space to roam and enable us to enjoy these unique pieces at our own pace. read more »
  • 5 ways to get kids excited about STEM learning

    The country needs more good scientists

    The events of the past couple of years have shown how important scientists are to making the world a better and safer place. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 fun, easy ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »