(Family Features) Learning remotely from home is now the norm for many families across the country. Kids and caregivers alike have settled into a routine, though keeping children engaged can still be challenging.
While kids have had to be resilient and adapt to learning away from their school buildings, there are ways to make the adjustment easier. These ideas can help infuse more fun and moments of inspiration into school days to keep kids engaged and excited about learning.
Create a reward system. Children typically respond well to positive reinforcement, and a thoughtful reward system can help incentivize them to stay on task. Try to align the rewards with the structure of your day so everyone wins. For example, you can reward the completion of a long assignment with a play break. Giving kids the ability to choose the reward from a set of options can also increase their level of investment in learning.
Seek support from trusted sources. Many familiar kids’ programs have expanded their services at no extra charge to help families through the pandemic. One example is My ABCmouse Classroom Live!, a learning experience that features daily classes built around themes such as community, responsibility, change, communication and cooperation. Each class feels like a real classroom experience, is led by real teachers and contains more than an hour of high-quality, engaging learning as part of an expertly designed curriculum. The classes can be streamed on-demand then kids can complete independent learning activities related to the classes, including interactive games, art and puzzles.
Maintain social ties. Connections with friends are hard to establish without in-person interaction. However, with a little creativity, you can find ways to build new kinds of connections with educational value. Coordinate with other parents to start a book club and bring kids together virtually to talk about the stories or start an old-fashioned pen-pal exchange with kids from your school.
Establish a schoolwork zone. For children, doing schoolwork in an area usually associated with toys and free time like a playroom or bedroom can be hard, but in most homes, extra space is at a premium. Get creative with your available space and set some boundaries. Use a room divider, rugs or other visual cues to set aside a space in the house dedicated to doing schoolwork. Get your children on board by having them help design the space or add their own personal touches like artwork.
For more ideas to help make virtual learning fun and engaging, visit ABCmouse.com.
5 Homeschool Hacks
1. Use familiar toys to add playful elements to schoolwork. Building blocks and modeling clay can be used as part of lessons on colors, shapes and letters.
2. Laminate a password cheat sheet and keep it within easy reach so you’re always able to log in quickly. Also create a list of bookmarks and desktop shortcuts to save time accessing online learning tools.
3. Add some cheerful color to dry-erase sheets by using pompoms as erasers. Bonus tip: Slide a page protector over a worksheet so kids can practice with it again and again.
4. Get creative with household supplies. A dishrack easily doubles as a file sorter or book display. Cookie sheets can be used for working with magnets or as a hard surface for writing or coloring if your child needs a break from his or her desk.
5. Repurpose old puzzles by putting learning content on the back. Math facts, spelling words and shapes can make for easy puzzles.
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