We thought that the Online Classes were only for a short while and assumed that the kids would return back to the school by the middle of last year. The schools are once again opening in the online model across the country. That means these online classes are here to stay. We, parents have to work around these classes only. No wonder, the parents are relieved and at the same time bit worried as well about their kids learning levels during these online classes. As last time, most of the parents have observed a dip in the kid’s focus during online classes.
So the most important question that’s plaguing most parents now is that how to improve the focus and concentration of their kids during the online classes and make them more enjoyable for the kids. The following are few working tips that some parents used during last year to keep their kids engaged during online classes.
One thing as a parent we all need to remember that all is not lost during these online classes. The kid has multiple avenues to learn outside the online classes and in fact, they would be his most important life lessons. We parents have to think a little out of the box to incorporate more experiential learning with the limited means available in the house. We can teach them our family history, our traditions, and our culture too. The kids can get a chance to read a lot of books and the books would definitely open up a new world to them. The kids try to follow us and if we show a positive attitude towards online classes, they also would become interested in them.
Tips to increase the kids focus during online classes
- Identify a proper place to attend the online classes in the house without any disturbance
It’s important to identify a dedicated place with a proper seating arrangement for the child to attend the online classes. This place should be free of all distractions and sounds. I know, we can’t avoid few sounds in the house, but minimizing those sounds with the help of earphones or headphones would be very effective. Please ensure that this place doesn’t have any unnecessary distractions for the children.
2. Protect your children from the unknown Web
The most common complaint that surfaced last year during the online classes is that the students are using other tabs/windows to browse the internet and were having fun, without concentrating on the classes. Even though the teachers tried bringing their focus back to the classes, it didn’t work out. This problem can be minimized by installing proper parental controls in your tab/mobile or computers. That way, the children will not be able to open up multiple tabs. The software like “Screen Time” wouldn’t allow the kids to use different apps during school time. Most of these apps can be controlled using the phone itself. Also, having the apps like website blocker, Cold Turkey or Freedom will help in eliminating the distractions for the kids.
3. Ask the school to schedule regular periodic breaks during the classes that span for more than 1 hour
As per the child psychologist’s study, the following are the permissible screen times for different age groups.
preK/K – 15 minutes
Grades 1-2 : 30 minutes
Grades 3-4: 45 minutes
Grades: 5-6: 1 hour
Grades 6 and abov: 2 hours
But that’s prior to the start of the online classes. With the advent of online classes, the number of hours each child spends on gadgets is on a steady rise. As the child watches the gadgets in the passive mode for more duration, their concentration and focussing levels are dropping. As parents, please discuss with the schools to have mindful breaks for 5 minutes or so to accommodate the kid’s urge to move around and jump. These small multiple breaks can help in increasing the kid’s focus during online classes.
4. Keep some sensory materials around to releive their stress
Some kids tend to become more fidgety and nervous during the prolonged exposure to gadgets. In fact, this behavior can be seen in the kids, when they watch the TV too. After a certain period of time, they become fidgety and keep moving in the hall while watching the TV. The same happens here too. Since these are online classes and the kids can’t get up and roam around, keeping the sensory materials like a fidget spinner, stress balls, or even a stool to keep their legs on would help. They can also have a comfy and their favorite napkin next to them.
5. Follow up on the homeworks and other assignments completion at home
In the earlier years, the kids used to complete the assignments and projects on time, as they have to show them in the school. But due to the online classes, the kids lack the motivation to complete these works. As they are not getting an opportunity to see how other kids are completing them, most of the kids fail to work on their tasks. So, as parents, we need to help them in completing their tasks and activities regularly.
Apart from the above tips, we as parents have to make a few changes at the homefront oo to accommodate the needs of the kids and tie online classes. Here comes my list of the changes that we need to make at the homefront.
6. Schedule a proper routine around the school schedule
Most kids thrive in routines. Hence, it makes sense to establish a routine about their activities during the day. The child can concentrate well in the classes, only if he has sufficient sleep and has good energy. So, making the child sleep early and getting up early are crucial factors that improve the kid’s focus and concentration.
7. Have a Healthy diet.
Eating healthy food has multiple benfits. People with good health will have more concentration and attention when compared to the others. A hungry boy can never concentrate on the classes.
As the child needs to watch gadgets for a long time, include a lot Vitamin A and E rich foods into their diet. Some examples could be: leafy vegetables, carrots, apples, etc.
8. Include fitness regime into your daily routines
Also, due to this pandemic, we are not able to step out of the house and kids are not able to spend their growing up energies. So having a fitness routine is a must for all the members of the family to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Also, along with the body stretches and other exercises, include few eye exercises to relax the muscles in the eye area as the kids are watching gadgets for a longer time than needed these days.
9. Don’t over schedule his online classes
Don’t add on additional extracurricular activities and a host of other activity classes to the already running online classes. Please try to keep the online classes to a minimal extent as per the research statistics given above. If required, let these additional classes be the relaxing mode for the kids instead of adding to the already existing stress and strain.
10. Concentrate on the kids Mental Health and Emotional Well being.
It;s a known fact that the kids mental health is tkaing a toll due to this pandemic and soical distancing. So as a parent, we need to take care of hteir mental health as well. Introduce the kids to meditation, or calming music. If they enjoy doing arts or paiting, let them do those activities daily. Doing their favorites activites would reduce the stress and strain on the kids minds.
Last but not least, try to spend time as a family at least on the weekends together. That will help to boost the morale of both the kids and the adults alike. This happy and relaxed mood will help the kid focus during online classes more.
These are the tips that we follow at our house to improve my kid’s focus during the online classes. What about you? How are you planning to tackle the next academic year on the online mode once again? Please let us know your thoughts.