Now that we are several weeks into distance learning, I figured it was the right time to ask, “How is it going?”
Many of the families I work with are expressing concerns about engagement in addition to wondering how they can ensure that their child’s schoolwork gets completed.
There are many different distance learning strategies that I typically suggest, some of which are situational or individualized for a particular student. However, I decided to make a list of my nine most frequently recommended tips.
I even associated the tips with the word EQUIPMENT to make it easy to remember. Read on to discover if you have the proper EQUIPMENT for distance learning (and no, I am not referring to the amount of technology you own.)
Expectations & Routines
It is crucial to make a schedule during this time. A schedule, regardless of how closely you follow it, allows your child to see when their meetings and learning will take place. It also allows them to see when specific technology will be available or to know when a parent is available for help.
Quality Over Quantity
The suggestion of expecting quality over quantity is one that I find myself suggesting a lot lately. For many young children, live sessions are long and require undivided attention. These meetings often provide parents with an “inside look” into the aspects of their child’s education, which can be a challenge. My recommendation for these children usually consists of providing them with shorter sessions of better quality work. 10 GOOD minutes are much more effective than 45 DISTRACTED minutes.
Utilize Visual Supports
Visual supports don’t have to be fancy. Timers, checklists, and token boards are three types of visuals that can be implemented (for free) with materials that you have at home. The benefit of visual supports is that it cues your child into important reminders, and provides them with a tangible reminder of their expectations
Identify a Workspace
Defining a work area helps your child decipher work from play. Associate this space with learning, but also make it fun and reinforcing. A workspace can be used for any tabletop activities that are academically-related such as drawing, reading crafts, and puzzles.
Provide Controlled Choices
This is one of my favorite antecedent-based interventions to recommend to parents. The “controlled” in controlled choices refers to providing your child with a LIMITED set of options that they can pick from such as, how many, what color, what order, or how to complete something.
Interested in learning more about controlled choices CLICK HERE.
Make Learning Fun
Engage your child in learning activities by alternating between activities they like and activities that are less preferred. You can even integrate learning into a variety of everyday skills such as cooking, cleaning, and movement activities.
Establish a Reward System
Identify an item or activity that is highly preferred and save it as a reward for schoolwork completion. As long as your child doesn’t have free access to this item, it will remain reinforcing and will increase their behavior of work completion.
Interested in learning more about positive reinforcement? CLICK HERE
Narrow (Limit) Distractions
Remove or turn off the TV or other electronics before your child begins a work session. Ensure that their workspace is free of toys, extraneous materials, or clutter that may take their focus away from the assigned task.
Everyone likes to take a break from work. Your child is no different. Remember that during a typical school day, many elementary-aged children are moving around and switching activities every 15-30 minutes. Insert short breaks between tasks, allowing your child to reset before engaging in a new activity. Provide opportunities for movement, food & drink, as well as limited demands during break times.
You can access a printable PDF version of this infographic by CLICKING HERE