It’s summer and camps are closed! What next?! The current situation has left many parents wondering what to do with their kids at home. Lots of programs are now being offered online which can be a great alternative. And, it really expands your options since kids can participate in programs from all over the world! But even the most focused children can become distracted during online learning sessions, so check out these tips for keeping kids motivated during remote learning.
You might be one of the people heading back into your office. Or, maybe you are lucky enough to still be working from home. Either way, your child’s remote learning schedule probably means that you’ve rescheduled your work day, at least a little bit.
After that, you get everything ready for your child’s online learning. You spend the weekend reorganizing your living room/home office/bedroom so it can work as a mini classroom. Then, you imagine a perfect morning that includes eating breakfast and enjoying a nice walk before sitting down for online classes. It all sounds great until you realize that your child just completed 2-3 months of online schooling!
Even if the first day goes well, this ideal scenario can be difficult to maintain. The situation moves into good days interspersed with bad days. This is then followed by the realization that the online class is a zoo, and everyone is crying including you. Kids are on the floor kicking, screaming, crying, and saying the work is hard or boring. And sometimes, the complete unraveling happens only after those online sessions are over!
The truth is that not all children love learning online, and many lack the stamina to stare at a screen for more than an hour. On the plus side, there are several little things you can do to enhance the summer remote learning experience for both you and your kids. Here are a few ideas that have worked for us.
Try offering your child gum or a mint. This is especially helpful when your child starts becoming antsy during an online session.
Refocus your child. It’s easy to get distracted during online learning, so remind your child that this situation is temporary and that you are only using it as necessary.
Change the seating arrangement. Consider letting your child sit on a stool, bean bag, or a bouncy ball/stability ball. Studies show that offering seating options can increase concentration.
Consider a reward system. Stickers work really well for children age 7 and under. Once online learning is complete, they get a sticker. Earning 3-5 stickers during the week results in getting to do something special, like splash-play in the backyard, special reading time with mom or dad, or making a tasty treat. Keep the reward system and the rewards small and simple. Focus on things that are enjoyable for the kids and manageable for the parents.
Offer an occasional break. If you’re like me and have the time and flexibility to provide your own home learning experiences, consider hands-on activities like cooking.
A Favorite Recipe
I have some staple recipes I make with my son. This pear sauce recipe is one of our favorites, so I wanted to share it with all of you.
Pear Sauce Recipe
4-5 Bosc pears (with skins already peeled)
Child-friendly cutting board and knives
4-quart pot with steamer basket
1. Show your child how to cut using a cutting board and child-friendly knives. The ones shown below work well and can be found here. (Note: This is an affiliate link. If you click and purchase, MCK blogs will receive a small commission that will be used to maintain this site.)
2. Let your child cut the pears into smaller pieces.
3. Fill the 4-quart pot with 2 cups of water and insert the steamer basket.
4. Place the pear pieces inside the steamer basket and sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. On medium heat, bring the water to a boil and then lower to simmer.
6. Remove pears when they are completely soft, but keep the water!
7. Place half the pear pieces in a blender along with 1/2 cup of the pear water. Blend.
8. Decide how thick you want your sauce. To make it thicker, add more pears. To make it thinner, add more pear water.
9. Once you’ve blended all the pear pieces, place the mixture in a large bowl to cool.
10. Serve in a small bowl and yum!