Online learning has been and will likely continue to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Most students may be used to it by now, but others might still struggle with paying attention or feeling motivated to learn if they’re not physically in school. Here are some tips from our IB online tutors to help you help them!
Designate a study area
Your child’s study area should be quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions. Overhearing conversations, hearing the doorbell ring, or seeing family members watch something on the TV are examples of distractions that can take them out of the moment and cause them to lose focus. As such, it’s best to designate a quiet room with sufficient lighting, a comfortable chair, and a desk, where there are fewer chances of interruption. Bonus points if the room has a window with warm, natural light.
Schedule regular breaks from the screen
Taking breaks from the screen is extremely important for students. Online classes are strenuous on the eyes due to prolonged screen time. It’s a good idea for your child to schedule ‘eye breaks’ in which they look away from the screen for a short moment. As suggested by the American Optometric Association, you can adopt the ‘20-20-20’ rule: take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes, and look at something 20 feet away.
Schedule regular study breaks
Students should also take regular study breaks to help them concentrate on their learning. Engaging in light physical activity, such as going for a quick jog outdoors, or even doing 30-star jumps, can help make them feel re-energized and able to get back to work with more energy and focus. This study break should take place away from the study space, preferably out in the living room or downstairs if possible, and students should avoid looking at screens during these breaks.
Come up with a reward system
Online learning is not always easy and can often be quite draining for students, especially if they’ve had a long day. A reward system is a good way to keep them motivated. Whenever your child reaches a set milestone (e.g. finishing all their assignments before the next class) or accomplishes something they had planned, reward them with something positive. It doesn’t need to be a big reward each time, but the idea is to train their brains to recognize that learning will lead to positive rewards!
Check-in with your child
A big tip is just to check in with your child. Online learning can be gruelling, tiring, and at times a little lonely. After all, they’re not seeing their friends in person as often. Some students may also struggle with keeping up. Maintaining an active interest in what your child has learned every day can help them feel less alone. If possible, carve out some time to check in on their mental health and remind them that you’re all in this together.
Help is always here if you need it
If you find that your child needs additional support with their classes, whether it’s with specific assignments, exams, or just general help with homework, it can be a good idea to reach out to a tutor. A good IB online tutor can guide your child through tricky assignments and be a general source of support.