With Pesach behind us, it’s time to make the best of this new education experience. We have a few tips that can help the kids get the most out of their distance learning online or phone classes.
It’s important for each child to have a dedicated space and device (phone/tablet/computer) to be used consistently for all virtual classes. (We posted about an affordable tablet here.) Avoid scrambling for the cordless phone 2 minutes before call-in time by establishing a “home base” in that specific class time-space. If more than one child will be sharing a space, they should each have their own headphones with a built-in mic so they don’t disturb each other. Most phones, including cordless home phones, support Bluetooth, but double-check before ordering.
Another tricky part of distance learning is keeping track of the various call-in/login times. You should not be in charge of all those times, except possibly for the youngest students. If a child is using a device with timers built-in (cell phones, tablets, computers), set an alarm for each class. Some kids will need more than one reminder – maybe a 10-minute warning and a 2-minute warning. If they’ll be using a landline, consider a wristwatch with multiple alarms.
And realistically there will probably be a lot of printing going on over the next weeks or months of distance learning. If you don’t have a home printer, this is the time to get one. For color we like this Canon printer and for larger quantity black and white printing, this Brother model is the one I use in my house. And make sure to stock up on toner cartridges and paper – don’t wait until you run out.
If you have a child who is a visual learner, a dry erase board (we love this glass one) he can draw on with colored markers might help him process the information he’s only getting over the phone. Manipulatives might help some children process math lessons, so consider discussing options with the teacher.
Call it an incentive or call it bribery, but this might just be the time to rely on prizes just for sitting through class. It’s very hard for a child to focus on a phone class and a small reward each time might make it a little more rewarding.
Above all, we need to try to keep a positive attitude about all this. It won’t be easy, but we can do it!
If you have any tips or suggestions, please share them in the comments below.