In the remote-learning environment of the 2020-21 academic year, certain types of classes have been deprioritized and the school day has lost some of the structure and sociability that in-person learning affords.
In the face of these challenges, how can you make remote-learning more rewarding and fun for your child? Consider the following tips and ideas:
• Encourage video study sessions: Socializing is an invaluable aspect of a traditional school day. Unfortunately, remote-learning can be a lot more isolating. Have your child invite classmates to form a remote study group. Doing so will help reinforce lessons, make learning the material more interactive and provide a much-needed opportunity for students to socialize.
• Reincorporate music education: Have music classes been cancelled this year? Your child can still reap the benefits of a music education by playing an instrument like a Casiotone Keyboard. The Casiotone series of keyboards are great for beginners. Not only do they have a built-in learning system, they have a 3/4 jack for headphones so the rest of the house doesn’t have to be distracted during practice sessions. Learning to play a keyboard is not only fun, it can help with science, math and cognitive learning. Studies have shown that children and adults with musical training have heightened skills in an area called executive functioning.
• Schedule midday movement: Physical education may no longer be part of your child’s curriculum, but you can still make time for movement. Schedule a screen-free block of time each day to replace gym class or recess. Encourage kids to move around and if possible, get some fresh air. They’ll return to their next class refreshed and focused.
• Master math at home: Math can be an especially tricky subject to master remotely. But new tools can help students grasp complex concepts. For example, ClassPad.net is a tool geared toward K-12 and beyond that exceeds the functionality of a calculator. Among its many features are a virtual protractor and compass, and a math-based text editor that provides a rich assortment of mathematical templates. This web-based calculator also gives users the ability to create folders, organize and share work. These tools are free to educators and students and can eliminate the need for an expensive graphing calculator. To register or learn more, visit ClassPad.net.
• Create digital masterpieces: Art is still an important subject for kids, even if it isn’t being offered this year. However, you don’t need to install a full-fledged art studio in your home for kids to be able to create artwork in a range of mediums. Digital apps mimic the act of drawing, painting, illustration, collage and more, helping to build a foundation of skills and lay the groundwork for further exploration.
While some of the challenges of remote-learning are inevitable, there are many ways families can make the experience more positive for students.