Three Ways to Create the Perfect Remote Learning Environment at Home

The past few months have forced families into the uncharted waters of remote learning, while also contending with the need to ensure their children receive the education they deserve. Parents, teachers, and administrators are all working together to provide their students with the best education possible during its disruption as a result of school closures, though it’s been a smoother transition for some than others. Turning a dining room into a classroom isn’t the easiest thing to do, and it’s caused quite a few challenges for many parents.

However, creating an ideal learning environment in your home doesn’t have to be such a terrible ordeal. Here are ways to help you set up the perfect learning environment for your children while they are at home:

Set Reasonable Expectations

This first tip has more to do with the energy in your house than the physical setup of your living room. Remember that you can’t simply replicate your child’s school day at home; instead, you need to create a new environment that allows them to thrive. For that to happen, you need to set reasonable expectations for how this new form of learning is going to happen. You can’t expect your grade schooler to sit at the table from 8 am to noon and do nothing but work; they will need breaks and other activities that split up the day that can give them a chance to recharge. Children usually have lunch, recess, gym, music, and art classes to break up the school day. Try giving them the same kind of breaks with exercise, free time, and art projects so they can get the most out of their new learning experience.

Minimize Distractions

When it is time to focus on schoolwork, your children will benefit from a space that’s free of distractions. Television, video games, and cell phones should be in a different room or at least turned off while your kids are doing their schoolwork. You can also try to work around everyone’s schedules – if one child needs to be on a video chat for their class, maybe that’s a good opportunity for the other child to take a break and spend some time playing outside or in their room. Keep in mind though that your kids will naturally get distracted if they’re sitting in one place for too long, so make sure to let them get up and move around or do something different before they get back to work. You’ll never be able to completely eliminate distractions; just do your best to minimize them. 

Provide Screens, Notebooks, and Visual Aids

Laptops and tablets allow students to collaborate with their teachers and fellow students. However, some learning should be done offline. For example, you can give them a notebook that they can use as a journal, which will give them a break from the screen and spend some time practicing their writing skills. You can also give them the supplies to make visual representations of their work, like timelines, infographics, or mind maps. Or you can print out some of the work for them to do on paper. Simply scan or send photos of the completed work back to the teacher when they are done. Breaking away from the screen for a little while lets your kids stretch different creative muscles and will enhance their learning. 

With the end of the school year approaching, experts in the arena of education have predicted that typical summer learning loss will be compounded by missed learning objectives as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19 school closures. Historically, learning opportunities during the summer months have been essential to keeping kids on track academically for grade-level advancement—and given the uncertainty of schools reopening in the fall, it is more prevalent today than ever before. A virtual summer program that offers students a chance to strengthen core academic skills, while engaging with their peers in a safe and secure online learning environment, can ease the minds and concerns of parents about the loss of academic gains.