Online Learning: New Norm During the Covid-19 Pandemic
With the rapid spread of Covid-19, many schools were closed across the United States. With almost 57 million children enrolled in kindergarten up to high schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the closure of schools made numerous school systems look for innovative ways to teach and reach their learners. One of the key ways that is being done is via online or virtual learning.
The number of K-12 system learners who are receiving online education has increased significantly in the United States. According to the National Education Policy Center’s 2019 report of 2017-2018, 501 full-time online schools enrolled 297,712 learners. Also, 300 blended learning institutions (that’s, schools that use online and traditional learning modes) registered 132,960 learners. Enrollment in online schools improved by over 2,000 full-time learners between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. The membership of blended schools increased by over 16,000 learners during that time.
Whereas a small number of United States learners are used to online learning, this is a new model for many students, teachers, and parents in the United States. Adjusting to changes brought about by shifting from traditional schools to virtual learning is challenging, particularly if the changes are to be realized within a short period.
Additionally, what online education entails and how parents would help this, was not clear from the start. Still, most schools and instructors are developing their skills to online learning, and they have to do it quickly. But as a community, we are all together. Also, parents play a critical role in the online education of their students.
How to Help Your Teen to Change to Online Learning
Here are ten ways of assisting your learner in changing to virtual education and completer school calendar year effectively:
1.Discuss Expectations and Rules
From the start, determine regulations regarding how schools would function. You will need to set a schedule that will allow flexibility. In the event you layout expectations and rules in an online school, you will gain more success when implementing them. Additionally, it will assist in providing structure the day structure of your student.
2.Get Back into a Normalcy
Whereas you may be required to wake up students at 5:15 a.m. to catch the school bus, you also do not need them to sleep the following day, either. Do not let your child lounge in their pajamas the whole day. Rather, attempt to begin the day early. Ensure they get up early and dress like during school sessions.
Additionally, ensure that your kids go to bed at the right time, similar to the way they do during school nights, to enable them to get 8-10 hours of night rest.
Note that children are used to many structures during a school day, and although they might fight those structures, most children thrive with them. Facilities assist children in knowing what they anticipate, and it offers consistency, something learners want in their lives today. By providing children with this routine, will make them feel more secure and less anxious during this period of Covid-19.
3.Set a Consistent School Schedule
Your children should operate on a daily schedule. In case your children are older, ensure that they establish their own learning schedule and share it with you. Additionally, in order to be successful, set a schedule immediately. Also, ensure schedules conform to the prospects set by schools and teachers.
For instance, in case your students usually have a math period first, then do it first. The reason for using this approach is because children are used to their schedule, and it is a part of their normalcy. Thus, it becomes easy for them to be back to their routine in case they adhere to their normal timetable. Next, it is common for children to dedicate a lot of time to harder subjects and less time to easy subjects.
In a typical school day, instructors are physically present to remind students to change to another subject. Nevertheless, in online learning, learners can ignore or forget that unwanted homework. Keeping learners close to their normal timetables will ensure that they tackle all subjects, even those that they dislike.
4.Designate a “School Zone”
With many families staying at home during Covid-19 lockdowns, space and privacy mighty be challenging to overcome. Parents and schools have to be innovative due to these challenges. You need to designate a room in your home where children can do their assignments without interruptions and free from disruptions such as television.
5.Encourage Learners to Take Many Breaks
Ensure that students stay active and occasionally breaking away from learning through the day. This may involve going for a nature walk, riding a bike, and shooting hoops. It is not healthy to be on your laptop and computer the whole day, and this is also applicable to people working from home.
Thus, it is important to make sure that students break from their studies and move around. Besides, they should not play video games during these breaks because doing so might undermine their learning time.
6.Facilitate Social Connections
During normal school days, children have chances to socialize and hand out with their friends. Social connections are a crucial aspect of adolescent and childhood development.
Children might feel isolated from their colleagues when they want them most. So, it is crucial to ensure that your children stay connected, even if it is through online connections like Facebook, Skype, Instagram, or FaceTime. No, it is not similar to associating with allies in person, but during this period of the pandemic, it is the best that can be done.
Parents can assist younger children in linking with their colleagues utilizing technology, for instance, having children bake something together as well as setting up a video chat, having picnic lunches, and practicing funny dance moves together. Teenagers and children may have online learning sessions, or they can do online group lunch.
7.Communicate with School Personnel
Instructor and parent communication is crucial, and with virtual education, it is more crucial. In case you feel that your students are not doing as expected in the online learning environment or in case you want to know whether something is due, contact the instructor of your child. Notably, parents should remember that they have a right to know how their children are doing and to know school and instructor expectations.
8.Advocate for the Needs of Your Learners
If your student has established needs through a 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan, you should ensure that those needs are met at whatever cost. In case the learning plan requires an annual assessment, you may get in touch with the case manager of your learner to determine when and how the review or meeting will be done. Most schools are choosing to do online meetings, employing platforms such as Google Meet or Zoom; thus, this might be the choice.
9.Create a Social Support System
As a parent, you should contact the class parent or Parent Teacher Association representative and develop creative ways through which parents may follow what is happening to the online learning of the schools of their children.
You ought to come up with support groups as well as share information. Ask the instructors of your teen to be part of the group, as well. Even though we might be physically away from each other, we do not have to be isolated from socialization. We may achieve a lot when working together.
Presently, we are living in challenging times, and online education and it isn’t the status quo for brick-and-mortar K-12 schools or most educators. You ought to be patient with the staff and instructors of the school of your child. They, also, are changing to the new normalcy.
School personnel and parents have a mutual interest so as to ensure that your teen gets the training that they require so as to prepare for their future. Besides, during the Coronavirus pandemic, parents can educate their teens a lot regarding how to adapt and change with change during this stressful time. Notably, this will assist them in dealing with challenges that relate to school as well as other aspects of life.
Maintaining Learning Progress on High School During Covid-19
Even with the closure of schools because of Covid-19, learners can also do other things. Online education platforms have been put in place instead of freezing all programs during the Covid-19 to enable learners to proceed with their academics.
In spite of assistance from administrators and teachers, high school learners might be having challenges in adapting to the format of high school online classes as well as stay focused. Some of the things that students can do during this period of Covid-19 to stay ahead of their online learning course include;
- Be patient with yourself.
- Fill knowledge gaps.
- Keep normalcy and a planner.
- Limit interruptions.
Utilize printed resources in some instances.
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