How to manage remote learning and stay sane
Remote learning is challenging, there is no doubt about it. It is hard for both parents and students. Whether you are a parent with a young child or an older student reading this, these are challenging and stressful times. But let’s talk about some tips and tricks to help manage remote learning and stay sane.
The importance of routine
Firstly, it is important to set and keep a routine. Just like you would during normal schooling. It is important to keep up a routine with your child. Set times for starting and finishing schooling, keep the same wake-up and bedtime, including when they can have their recess and lunch. Try to keep to it the best you can throughout the remote learning period. It is important to still get out of bed, get dressed, and have breakfast- all of the things you would usually do.
Students are so used to having their regular routine at school, it’s important to try and mimic it the best that you can. You could even keep a to-do/schedule list on something like a whiteboard or some paper to help display what should be done at what time of day, similar to what teachers use in a classroom. Weather can be an issue, but it is also important to try and keep recess and lunch to outside playtime if you have the ability to do so. This allows children to get fresh air, and parents to get some alone time.
Study spaces matter
Another tip, is to make sure you create a designated workspace for school work. It is important to make this a distraction-free and productive place. Make sure it is not just working in bed, but rather being set up with a chair and surface. For younger learners, this may need to be a place where they can be supervised. This is a challenging time, with many parents also working from home, so ensure your workspaces are well spaced out where possible to allow some personal learning space. It is also important, where possible, to separate your “working/study space” with your “down time space”. It can be draining for your mental health to have one space for all your activities. So where possible, try and make sure you are not studying in places you usually rest.
When possible, try and keep in regular communication with staff and classmates. This may be through email, zoom, google meet or whatever other platform they choose to use. Stay engaged throughout your online lessons, ask questions, use forums or other school chat features. It is also important to try and stay connected with friends. For older students, they have social media to stay connected with their friends. However, it may be a good idea for younger students to organise some “facetime” sessions with their friends in out of school times so that they still get to see their friends and say hi.
Lastly, remember to enjoy your “not school time”, depending on the lockdown circumstances, try and get out of the house on weekends and after school. Go for a walk, go to the park, enjoy life outside of the house. You could also do some fun activities inside like baking or watching a movie. It can be hard having school impede on your personal space but doing fun activities once learning time is over can help this.
Overall, it is about developing a routine and structure which suits you and your family environment. Everyone is different. But just know you are not alone. These are challenging times. If you feel as though you are struggling, be sure to reach out to your close family, friends or school staff to seek help.
You are not alone.