Learning from home is a completely new experience for most of our students. There are a few things you can do at home to help make the transition smoother and to ensure a quality online tutoring experience! By the way, if you haven’t already checked out our COVID-19 Updates and Resources page, please do; I know you’ll find it useful.
Set up a Designated Workspace
Try to section off areas of your home for working-only. This means not in bed, not where the internet is spotty, and not in front of the TV. Students are able to walk into a classroom and get into a learning mindset; by creating spaces that are for work-only, you can recreate the feeling of walking into a learning environment and triggering the brain to focus. Studies show that working or studying in bed makes it much harder to focus, and has a negative impact on sleep.
To help keep tutoring sessions running smoothly, make sure the workspace has enough room for a notebook and a computer. It’s also helpful if windows are behind the computer, not the student. This helps with lighting, especially if your student is going to want to show their tutor something. You should also try to set up in a quiet space so tutors and students can hear each other well.
Keep a Routine
Get up each morning and do what you normally do: shower, get dressed, brush your teeth. As tempting as it is to stay in sweats all day, it will help everyone feel more like people if you continue to get ready for the day. Find time each week or every few days to sit down as a family and talk about everyone’s schedules. This will help you find a routine that works for everyone. Check out our suggested routine here!
For younger kids, set visible timers so they know what to expect when! You can print out pictures and tape them to an analog clock according to times. For example, if you want to start doing schoolwork at 10, print out a picture of a notebook and stick it on 10. You can help kids learn to tell time, understand the difference between the big and little hands, and set their expectations.
Sitting inside all day is hard for everyone, especially younger students! Everyone from adults, to high schoolers, to grade schoolers will benefit from moving their body. Even if it’s cold outside, try to get a walk around the block or get up and stretch. You’d be surprised how great breaks are for improving focus and eye strain!
Find Signals for “I need space” or “I’m busy”
Everyone will need space for some reason or another. It could be because you’re on a call, your student is meeting with a tutor, or because you just need some alone time. It’s important to come up with a system that communicates that to everyone in the house. It could be a designated room people can go to have quiet time or maybe if you have your headphones on it means “please don’t interrupt”. Give everyone the opportunity to have their needs met and respected.
Take Time to Learn Something New
A lot of us wish we had the time in our days to learn how to do something that isn’t a part of our daily norm. Having time off from school could be a great opportunity to try and explore some of our other natural interests.
You could devote a certain part of the day to learning how to cook by trying a new recipe, or how to play a fun song on an instrument. If you have more than one student at home, you can encourage them to get together and create a game to play. There are endless opportunities to do something creative in a time like this, which is a luxury you don’t have in a typical school day.
Give Students Time to Socialize
Of course, it’s also important to build in time to come back together as a family. Try to eat dinners together and work in groups. Socialization is also important!
With this comes time and space for students to connect with their peers. Consider changing the screen time rules to give them the opportunity to talk to their friends. Social distancing can be incredibly isolating, and we all need to stay connected!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If you’d like to talk through your student’s unique situation, we’d be happy to help collaborate on a plan. Please give us a call today!