Online learning has become the new normal. It seems that learning through virtual classes is set to continue well into the future. While online learning and homeschooling may be an essential shift brought about by the pandemic, it can be overwhelming for students and parents.
Progressive educational institutions are discovering efficient ways to make homeschooling easier for kids, parents, and teachers. We at Learning Links Academy offer personalized online learning programs to make learning engaging and impactful.
Why keeping kids engaged is proving difficult?
Children are already trying to adapt to lockdowns and restricted freedom, which are some major impacts of the pandemic. Expecting them to be motivated enough to accept homeschooling as part of the new normal would be going beyond the limit.
Parents and teachers are themselves adapting to a different normal forced by the pandemic. Keeping children motivated while working from home can be exhausting and stressful for them too. Kids feel deprived of all such social elements inherent to traditional learning, in online learning. No matter how effective a homeschooling program is, it does not work unless your kid is motivated.
Fortunately, there are some tested ways to motivate kids to accept homeschooling, adapt to it, and thrive at it. These techniques have been applied in conventional pre-pandemic schools, and they can come to your rescue too.
Whether you are a parent homeschooling your kid on your own, a tutor, or a teacher, these are some practical study hacks that you could use for more success during study hours:
1. Include activities that require kids to interact
Interaction is a key strategy to engage students. When kids interact by seeing, listening, or talking, they tend to become more involved.
Rigorous interaction witnessed in in-person teaching may not be possible in online teaching. Still, there are ways to maximize interaction in online learning programs. Activities such as getting children to reply to questions during class hours and involving them in developing online class rules are a start.
Another effective method to improve interaction is to use fishbowl discussions. In a fishbowl discussion, there are 2 circles of students. An outer circle is a group of listeners that takes notes from the inner circle. The inner circle, which is referred to as the fishbowl, discusses the specified topic. Fishbowl discussions are usually carried out after a class. Such discussions are efficient in bringing kids together. Children take turns to become part of the inner or outer circle. As a result, they develop excellent listening and speaking skills. Such discussions also teach children to discover new and multiple perspectives.
If you are a parent, then you could involve your kids’ friends in such online discussions.
2. Include time for social interactions during study hours
Social connectedness is key to getting kids to destress, focus, and stay motivated. A simple ritual such as getting kids to talk to each other through short break spans can be effective. If you are a homeschooling parent, then you could perhaps allow your kid to talk to a friend in between classes.
Creating small groups and allowing such groups to interact online regularly can also be socially effective. Ensure that such interactions are monitored though.
3. Come up with activities that kids can connect with
Getting kids to connect with a lesson or activity is important to motivate them to focus and learn. One way to get kids connected is to link study lessons with activities they love. For example, if a kid loves gardening, then you could design an activity that teaches the kid about plants. If you are an online tutor or a teacher, then you could use online survey tools to know your students’ interests.
Another way to make lessons more engaging is to encourage kids to connect lessons with their real life. When children are able to relate lessons and activities to the life they know, they feel a sense of personal connection, which helps them stay motivated.
4. Explain the purpose of lessons and assignments
It is important to let children know why they are learning a particular lesson and how doing a particular activity can benefit them. This explanation enables them to understand the underlying purpose, which is a key booster of motivation.
5. Be up-to-date with different study techniques
Did you know rereading lessons is not an effective way of learning? Are you aware of the fact that focusing on a single lesson or activity does not develop learning skills? Many research-based study methods are shattering the myths of traditional study habits.
For example, activities such as quizzes where students are required to recall lessons have proved to strengthen retention. In contrast, practices such as repeated reading, and reviewing notes, are less effective. Similarly, spaced learning, which involves a spaced focus on different topics or activities, is a more efficient way of learning than single-minded practice.
As a parent or educator, it is crucial to be up-to-date with efficient study techniques. Effective study methods will enable kids to get the most of online learning programs.
6. Take time to interact with kids after school hours
Let kids know they can talk to you after school time. Be willing to talk to them regarding their lessons, study habits, or the emotional challenges they are facing due to online learning. Involve them in devising solutions so that you get to know the best ways to teach them.
If you are a tutor, then let children know that they can talk to you after school hours either through phone, text, video calls, or online chat. When you listen to kids, they get the confidence that they are being heard, which is key to motivate them to discover solutions to their challenges.
Homeschooling can be successful when children are self-motivated. Self-motivated kids realize the joy of learning. When learning becomes joyful, kids tend to follow it for life.
Learning Links Academy works with the aim to make homeschooling and online learning enriching for kids. Our programs are developed by academic experts after thorough research on the needs of children learning through online media. Combining your motivation techniques with our customized learning programs can enable kids to realize their true potential and study with increased confidence.
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