“At the end of the day, I think the more online educators there are, I think the better off the whole world is.” – Anant Agarwal
“So far technology has hardly changed formal education at all. But a lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the Internet will surprise people in how it can improve things—especially in combination with face-to-face learning.” – Bill Gates
“Online learning provides fantastic flexibility, among other benefits, and aids in making the task of arranging development opportunities far easier.” – Dr. Sharon Jones
Online education is not going anywhere anytime soon. It has many benefits, and more and more people are beginning to understand its value and positive effect on children’s development. But despite the benefits of online learning that have been mentioned in the existing research, many parents are still suspicious of it. They are still reluctant to embrace the idea that their child can obtain quality education simply by sitting in their room, in front of their computer screen. And without going to school.
Many parents are also wondering about the overall impact that online education may have on their children. Many of them are asking themselves the following questions. Is there any negative impact of online education on my son or daughter? Will it have a negative impact on their social skills and the ability to connect with others? Will it have a negative effect on their future opportunities?
Parents are also worried that the whole online learning experience can contribute to their child’s isolation. All these concerns are legitimate, but they should not be the reason to give up on the idea of online education. So instead of worrying about the negative effects of online learning, let’s ask a more helpful question: how can I support my child during their online education journey? This is what is going to be about.
Help your child create a routine.
Routine is crucial to online learning. When children work within routines, their learning and the whole education process are of better quality. Be aware of what teachers expect from your child in terms of class progress and submitting their homework online. Also make sure you understand how your child’s teacher can be reached – be it via phone, email, or any other means of communication.
Help your child create a schedule with tasks and assignments that your child must complete each week. This will help them always do their homework on time.
Empower your child and help your child understand that online experience will benefit them in many ways.
No matter what we are talking about – whether it’s face-to-face education or online learning – setbacks and frustrations are bound to happen. It is crucial that you regard setbacks as opportunities to learn rather than factors that can discourage you from continuing to learn online. If your child is struggling with their tasks and assignments, then you can address your child with positive phrases, including the following. What new things have you learned so far?
Help your child understand why online education is valuable and worthwhile.
Sometimes your child may come up to you and ask: “Why do I have to do this? Why do I have to learn online? What is the point of all this”. Indeed, without seeing the value of what you are doing, it may be difficult and, sometimes, impossible to stay motivated. So, try to help your child understand the benefits online learning. For example, you can emphasize how online learning can be beneficial to them. You can highlight the fact that they don’t have to get up early in the morning to catch the bus. Or, for example, the fact that they don’t have to waste time on the bus on their way home.
Help your child create a dedicated learning space, where they can concentrate and be undisturbed.
It is very important that your child has a place where their learning can happen in a way that is beneficial to them and unconstructive to you. Such a learning space must have good natural light, and a good chair. Such a space should be free of any clutter and quiet. If financial means permit, invest in a sturdy table and comfortable chair – those specially designed to help those using them avoid backache and other problems resulting from prolonged sitting.
Make sure you monitor how much time your child spends in front of the screen.
Try to limit unnecessary screen time. It is a scientifically proven fact that those people spending too much time in front of the screen (no matter whether it is a smartphone or computer) are bound to have their eyes or brain activity negatively impacted. So, make sure you are doing something to reduce your child’s screen time that is not related to their online studies.
It is important to bear in mind, that the excessive use of electronic devices can lead your child to develop blue light insomnia and interfere with their body clock. This will have a knock-on effect on the overall well-being of your child. Insomnia will deprive your child of the necessary eight hours of sleep, which will inevitably impact their learning in a negative way.
Make sure your child is engaged in physical exercise.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you must live in.” – Jim Rohn
It goes without saying (and the existing research confirms this fact as well) that regular physical activity helps our brain function better and more effectively. It makes our learning abilities better as well and it also improves our brain’s cognitive capabilities. Sometimes a child can be overwhelmed by the amount of homework they are assigned or by the number of hours they spend in front of the screen. So physical exercise can be the most effective solution in such situations.
Remember that there is no need to make your child engage in rigorous exercise. A simple walk for half an hour can already be of huge benefit to your child’s health and online learning.
Don’t forget about the importance of breaks.
We don’t want our children to be frustrated by their online experiences. One of the reasons why they may feel frustrated is the fact that they feel bored during their online class. If you see that your child is not active, disinterested and nodding off, encourage them to take more frequent breaks. Or, perhaps, you can discuss this with their children. Your child’s teacher will surely appreciate your advice and have a think on how to organize frequent breaks that will be beneficial to every child and won’t hamper the learning process.
Keep in touch with the teacher.
This is another important piece of advice. Sometimes it is possible to oversee the challenges your child is facing when it comes to online learning. You and the teacher can help your child get the most out of their online learning. Online classes do not mean that there are no ways of communicating between you and the teacher. Reach out more often and demonstrate that you are willing to collaborate. Investing in such a teacher-parent relationship will help alleviate your child’s anxiety in the face of online learning and will support your child’s teacher as well.
Online (or remote) learning is the newest trend in education, and it is here to stay. Online education has many benefits over face-to-face education, which takes place in traditional classrooms. In our Shiminly Blog articles, we have talked a lot about how online education can benefit your child. In this article, we have focused on how you can support your child while they are on learning online.
Yes, online education is the new normal and it can be extremely beneficial to your child. But, at the same time, it can be challenging both for you and your child, if necessary, preparations are not made. What are the potential problems? Well, as we have discussed in this article, your child can have difficulty concentrating or may not have a proper learning space for their classes to be effective. Therefore, it is important that parent’s step in and help them.
Continue reading our blog for more useful advice on how to improve your child’s learning online experience and look at the latest articles written by our Shiminly experts.
Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.