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  • Writer's pictureBrian Ricks

Help Your Kids Stay Efficient During Coronavirus Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic has closed school campuses across the country, and classes have all switched to online instruction. This is a difficult adjustment to make so quickly, so it's natural that students will struggle to get used to it and be able to focus on class.

As a parent, you've suddenly been tasked with trying to keep your kids on task on top of everything else you have to deal with. So, what do you do?

My advice can be boiled down to two major points: Maintaining a Schedule & Having an Organized Workspace.

Make a Schedule and Stick to It

When students normally go to school, it always starts at the same time with classes typically following the same schedule day to day or week to week. A structured schedule like this helps many students to focus and limit distractions from the task on hand.

Here are some tips for building a schedule with your kids:

1) Keep Things as Consistent as Possible

If it's a school day, they should get up at the same time, go through the same morning routine, and then start their online lessons or work at the same time.

2) Don’t Get Too Ambitious

Don't be too overly ambitious with how much you can expect to pack into one day. Scheduling school tasks back-to-back is unrealistic. It may seem like an 8 hour school day could contain 8 hours of solid work, but the truth is there are many breaks throughout the day.

3) Build-In Break Times

Incorporate time for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, exercise, fresh air, talking to friends and family, and having some fun. In high school and college, students typically have 10-15 minutes between classes and at least an hour for lunch. This could be a good model to use at home too.

4) Communicate the Schedule

Post the schedule up somewhere centrally located in your house where everybody can see it. If you have multiple kids taking online courses, use different colors to limit confusion.

5) Don’t Distract Your Kids

Be careful about doing things that your kids will want to participate in while they are supposed to be doing school work. This includes calling friends or family that the kids may want to talk to, cooking any fun meals or desserts, or going outside for fresh air. Kids are easily distracted, especially when trying to concentrate on schoolwork by themselves. If they have scheduled work time, then it's best if you also do something quiet or work-related during that time too.

Having a Clean and Organized Work Space

Being at home is a huge distraction for most people and even more so for kids. It can be hard to find a quiet place to focus, especially when everybody is home at once. While there’s no way to totally ensure against distractions or messes, here are a few things that can help:

1) Have a Study Place for School Work

Keep a specific study place that is clear of other items and only used for school work. This is definitely hard to do in smaller homes, so if it's not possible to dedicate a space for only studying, then at least make sure that the space is clean and clear during school hours. Ideally, this spot would be at a table or desk and would not be someplace centrally located where others at home will be doing things during school hours.

2) Make Sure Electronics Are Properly Set up

With online video classes and assignments, students need to have a reliable connection and technology that just works. Laptop chargers are the most common thing that I see students running for in the middle of online lessons, so double check before beginning so a low battery alert doesn't interrupt a lesson!

3) Stay Connected

Keep a list of all websites, account logins, and email addresses needed for online classes. Some schools use their own online class systems, while others use platforms such as Blackboard and Google Classroom. Login information for email accounts and video calling should also be included to stay connected with instructors.

4) Keep Yourself Organized

Keep everything for different classes totally separate. It's easy to get things mixed up when everything is stored in one place, so use folders or binders for each class.

5) Limit Distractions

When it's time to start working on an assignment or watch an online video, put everything away except for what is needed. Clutter can draw attention away from the task at hand, so limiting visual distractions can help with focus.

My final piece of advice here is to recognize that adjusting to online schooling will take time. There will be a period of getting used to it, figuring how to make it work in your house, and lots of fine-tuning as you go.

Hire an Online Tutor

In the midst of this chaos, it’s important to not only stay on top of schoolwork but also excel and understand the material. This can be especially hard when you don’t have the benefit of getting personal help from teachers in school. Bricks Tutoring offers online tutoring with virtual tutors to make sure your students can still excel even during the coronavirus. Contact us today to get back on track with your studies.

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