Has one of your children been enrolled in a virtual learning environment? If so, you may have some understandable concerns. It is a drastic change from the traditional classroom environment which we all grew up with. However, it is possible for your child to survive, and even thrive in this new paradigm.
1. Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Learning
Before you consider any changes, consider both sides of this new learning environment. What are the advantages and disadvantages? If anything, virtual learning has both.
- Learn in a Safe Environment: 2020 was the year of the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual learning allows children to continue learning in the safety of their own homes, without being exposed to potential health threats.
- Continue Learning Without Disruption: Virtual learning is a valuable skill for both educators and students. Virtual learning could be employed in the future, either as a convenience, or possibly in other crisis scenarios to keep children on track with their education.
- Some Children May Find it More Effective: In some instances, children report they find learning virtually more effective. If effective for some, this could open up other possibilities for parents to continue educate their children beyond the current pandemic situation.
- Lack of Social Opportunities: When you learn in a virtual environment, you do not have friends sitting around you. This means you may miss out on social interactions and the social skills that are usually learned at school.
- Children Must Self Monitor: Virtual learning relies on children’s self-discipline much more than in a traditional classroom. Most of the time, it works, although not all of the time. Especially if parents are not able to stay involved in the process.
- Some Kids Find It Boring: Keeping children engaged can be a struggle. Different people learn better in different ways. There are defiantly a percentage of kids that find it close to impossible to stay engaged without someone there to help and monitor them.
2. How to Help Your Child Be Successful With Virtual Learning
Children learn best when they are interested in the material. Following this reasoning, creating an engaging virtual learning environment is of utmost importance.
Find Ways to Keep Them Engaged:
What motivates your child? You could note the entity that question better than anyone. Incorporate ways to keep them motivated into the daily routine of virtual learning.
Take Brain Breaks:
While it is important to keep engaged it is equally as important to take mental breaks, this could mean, playtime outside or even just a change of scenery. If the weather is nice it might be a good idea to take the classroom outdoors.
Keep a normal Sleep Schedule:
In many cases, virtual learning can affect one’s sleep schedule due to changes in routine, therefore it is important to try to keep a normal routine. Poor quality of sleep over time can be extremely detrimental to your overall health so it is important to actively work on ways to improve your sleep schedule. Besides keeping a normal routine here are some other tips for better sleep.
- No caffeine after 12pm
- Limit smart phones and technology in the bed
- Invest in your sleep: having a proper pillow, mattress and comforter can make a big difference
- Block out light and outside temperatures with blackout curtains, besides blocking out light these are also great for keeping your room insulated which can cut your home’s heating and cooling costs, slashing your Dominion Energy bill
- Also keeping your room tidy can help to have more peaceful night sleep
3. Virtual Learning and Mental Health
How does learning virtually impact your children’s mental health? This has become an increasingly important question and the long-term effects are still unknown.
Virtual Learning May Increase Stress and Depression:
Some children become more depressed when they are in a virtual learning environment. However, most of the time, it is because of the isolation. You can do something about that. Get them involved. As me
You Can Take Proactive Steps to Mitigate These Effects:Getting your children involved in extracurricular activities will be crucial. These will provide missing social interactions. The lack of traditional classroom activity can thus be mitigated.
The Sooner You Start The Better Your Outcome:
It’s easier to prevent depression than it is to treat it. If you wait until your child is not feeling well, it may be difficult to help them. The sooner that you take proactive steps, the better your outcome will be.