Young girl student engaged in virtual learning on laptop at home.

5 tips for at-home learning

As virtual learning becomes more common, kids are doing their school work in many different ways and places.

As teachers at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Holly Snyder and Vicki Meyer help children and teens keep up with school work while they’re in the hospital.

These are their tips for successful learning outside of a classroom.

Parents and caregivers: You’re learning, too

Parents and caregivers might find that they are more involved in their child’s learning – which can be overwhelming.

If you’re struggling, it’s OK to ask for help. Talk with your child’s teacher or look for videos or other resources online.

“Even as teachers, we don’t know everything, and we don’t expect parents to know everything, either,” Holly said.

And check in often with your child to understand what kind of support they might need.

“Listening to your child is important. Ask what is going right about their lessons, what would they change and what they need,” Vicki said.

At-home learning tips

  1. Have a dedicated space for school work. Try to limit distractions like a phone, TV or foot traffic through the house. An ideal workspace is somewhere they can sit up (in a chair, rather than a couch or bed) and have easy access to all of the supplies they need to do their work.
  2. Schedule “brain breaks.” Break up screen time with physical activities like a few minutes of stretching, a walk around the block, a short game or even a dance break. Younger children might need a break more often – every 20 minutes or so – while older children can usually stay focused for longer periods.
  3. Offer a reward. Find something that motivates your child – whether it’s trading video game time for homework or making a favorite snack. Consider offering them several choices so they can choose the reward that’s most enticing. A timer can help kids, especially young children, stay focused on their goal.
  4. Keep a positive attitude. Showing children that you have a positive attitude will help them feel optimistic and confident. Give them praise for completing their work and acknowledge the efforts they’re making.

Last Updated: September 28, 2020

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About Author: Laura Nightengale

Laura Nightengale was a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. 

When she’s not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.

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Categories: COVID-19, Kids & Family