In this digital age, many things can already be done remotely. Aside from work, you can perform plenty of tasks without leaving the comforts of your own home, thanks to the Internet and all the wonderful digital advancements people enjoy today.
Getting an education is no exception.
Computer-based learning is not a new concept. However, “online life” only recently reached its peak after a major pandemic made movement more difficult. This “big bang” of the digital age, so to speak, has made it clear that everything and everyone is now online, even learning.
Still, students face several challenges that can hinder them from continuing learning beyond school. From procrastination to several forms of distraction, a lot of things can disrupt your child‘s learning. Taking naps, watching TV, and even doing household chores can be considered productivity killers because they prevent him from completing his learning tasks for the day.
To make sure your child gets the education he needs to live a fulfilling life even if school is out, try these eight tips for making home-based learning more effective:
Teach Him Active Studying
Active studying is a technique that entails asking questions before, during, and after a learning session. Aside from giving the task direction, it also helps your child stay on track and reflect on what still needs to be improved for the following lesson.
Teach him active studying by asking what he is about to learn and if he already knows the subject. These questions should direct his thoughts subconsciously towards the topic he is about to learn.
During the study session, you can also ask him more questions to stimulate critical thinking, such as:
- How will this affect the big picture?
- Did you understand what you read enough to be able to paraphrase it?
- Can you write down ideas or keywords? Why do you think these are important?
Once the session is over, you can follow up with queries about what he learned (the takeaway) and what more he needs to learn in the subsequent sessions.
Give Him Tangible Goals
If you’re homeschooling or performing guided tutoring on a difficult topic like STEM robotics with your child, it would be best to set tangible goals that you can measure later.
Setting goals according to a fixed daily learning timetable can help reduce the pressure on home-based learning. It can also help you see how much progress your child has achieved, making it easier to reward accomplishments and motivate him in his home studies.
Use a Digital Calendar and Alarms to Keep Track of the Schedule
Home-based learning can be difficult to manage schedule-wise, so you have to find ways to stay on track. This can be done using a calendar that contains a study timetable for each day of the week.
Setting alarms and using a timer to stick to the schedule is also a good idea. Aside from keeping you focused on the task at hand, it can help you stay committed to it until you’ve covered all the materials your child needs to learn at home.
Above everything else, doing so also lets you determine the appropriate time to give your child a break and make the learning process more effective.
As mentioned earlier, distractions are your worst enemy when it comes to home-based learning. Prevent your child from watching videos or playing when it is time for studying and help him understand that there’s a right time for everything.
Don’t Overdo It; Take Age-Appropriate Breaks
While you should motivate your child to study hard, you must never overdo it. Like in school, you should incorporate breaks based on your child’s age. This is especially true for kids who study online and use any kind of screen to learn.
Taking a break after one to two hours of screen time is ideal to avoid exhausting his eyes. You should also prevent him from using his break time to use gadgets. The idea is to get some rest from the use of such devices.
Incorporate Offline Activities
When your child is already studying online, it would be better to keep him away from any other gadget during his break time. This means no video games or social media, as both aren’t much of a break to begin with.
Instead, try to incorporate offline activities like exercising, drawing, or playing outside. Household chores like cooking, for example, can also help teach your child about measurements, proportions, and conversions.
Non-digital games – especially those that make him use his brain while still having fun (e.g., Scrabble or riddles) – are also great for breaking the monotony while still fostering learning.
Make Sure He Gets Enough Sleep
Getting at least eight hours of sleep is important for students of all ages, especially on a school night. Even if your child is studying at home, you must make sure that he gets enough sleep to ensure that his brain is refreshed and ready to process the information he learned.
Tempting as it may be, cramming at night is not the best way to go as a full night’s sleep enables better learning. Plus, it helps keep him more alert and boosts his memory for better, more effective studying.
Set a Specific Study Area
Assigning a specific study area is also a great way to improve the efficacy of home-based learning.
It can be the kitchen table, a desk in his bedroom, or a separate study area altogether. Just make sure that you avoid including a bed or any sort of cozy area in the study zone as it might trigger sleepiness in your child.
It is also important to keep the space organized and clean. Set aside unnecessary items like toys and non-educational books as they might distract your child from his studies. Alternatively, common study tools like pencils and papers should be easily accessible.
Continue Learning at Home
Whether it’s the summer break or any situation that requires children to stay at home, parents need to be there to help continue their education. As difficult as it may seem, you can help with your child’s education beyond school through home-based learning. Consider the tips listed in this article to make it as effective as actual school classes are.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.