Tips and Tricks for Adapting to Distance Learning

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August 21, 2020

Tips and Tricks for Adapting to Distance Learning

By Ronda M., 3rd Grade TeacherHayden Homes Back to Home School Giveaway Collage

We know back to school planning looks different this year and that parents are in the middle of adjusting and preparing for a school year in which distance learning will very likely be part of the curriculum. We also know the uncertainty this brings.
Given that, we have teamed up with one of our own Hayden Homes homeowners who is a teacher to provide some tips & tricks to help you and your kiddos.

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

It is important that families, parents in particular, keep a growth mindset. There are bound to be frustrating times as there usually are when we learn something new. This is a great opportunity for parents to model how to navigate distance learning when it may be difficult. I encourage families to use phrases such as; “we can do this”, “it may take some time and effort”, “we aren’t there yet”, “let’s ask what other families are doing to be successful”, “education is important and we can learn this new approach”. Students will take cues from their families as to the kind of attitude they’ll have about distance learning and online instruction.

Create a Routine with Your Kiddos

Create a Routine

Routine is essential.  This is what helps classrooms run smoothly with the most efficient use of educational time. Most children learn to rely on routine, and it helps calm their brain so that learning can take place. Following the teacher’s academic timeframe and lessons is a good place to start.
Here are some routine suggestions and considerations:

  • Students focus best in the early mornings.
  • The attention span for most students is between 20 and 30 minutes. Therefore, it can be helpful to schedule 2-5 minute “brain breaks” into your day. You can ask your child what some of their favorites are from their classroom, or click here for a list of 50 Brain Break Ideas to help your student focus.
  • Establish a half hour lunch time each day.
  • Schedule a 15-minute morning and afternoon “recess” each day. Students should be ready to learn at the end of the 15 minutes. It is not recommended that the break is much longer than this, as it could break the rhythm of their school day.
  • Create an ending time for each day that you and your child can expect. At school, this time is generally around 3:30PM. This could look very different for families adjusting to new schedules. If daytime schoolwork is not completed due to inefficiencies, behavior or lack of effort, the days assignments can become homework. This could take place an hour after school gets out and an afternoon snack has been given.
  • Remain consistent and try to stick with the schedule you create.

Have Balanced Meals and Snacks

Balanced Meals & Snacks

It is important, even in a distance learning setting, to start the day with a protein based-healthy breakfast before beginning the day’s lessons. A healthy breakfast will give your kids the energy and brain power they need to stay active, keep up with the days routine and make it until lunch without hunger getting in the way. In addition, it is important to consider keeping breakfast, snacks and lunchtime away from their learning area. Check out these 28 Ideas for a High Protein Breakfast to help you stay creative in the kitchen.

Generate Excitement

Generate Excitement

Excitement for a new school year normally happens for students very naturally. They get to see their friends, meet a new teacher (in person), be a part of a new classroom, and they get to open their fresh new school supplies. Some families will even purchase back to school clothes or a first day of school outfit and schedule a new haircut to generate further excitement for that first day back. Why treat this year any different? Following back to school traditions, activities and hyping up the school year with conversation will continue to help prepare children for a positive experience.

Setup and Learning Station

Set up a Learning Station

Find a spot in your home where your child knows it’s theirs to learn, whether it be at the kitchen table, on the living room coffee table, a desk in their room or another room, a spot in the garage (provided it is a safe environment), at a kitchen bar, etc.  Wherever your child will be learning be sure it is tidy, consistent, and theirs.

Back to Home School Giveaway

Back to HOME School Giveaway

Be sure to check out the Hayden Homes Back to HOME School Giveaway and enter to win a Back to HOME School Package, including:

  • A new iPad (or home computer)
  • Home school desk and chair
  • Books, activities and school supplies

Hayden Homes will work with the winner to make sure the package is exactly what they need to get this school year off to a great start!
For every package given away, Hayden Homes will donate one to a local nonprofit who is ensuring all kids in our community have access to the supplies they need for successful distance learning. ENTER TO WIN!