Independence during virtual learning

by | Nov 16, 2020 | Blog, COVID19, School

Tired of trying to manage virtual learning while you’re working form home? 5-Tips to get your child virtual learning independently!

If you have been supporting your child side-by-side during virtual learning you are probably itching for ways to get them learning independently. With your own work load piling as you both dive deeper into online school, stress has never felt higher. Here are some tips to encourage your child’s independence throughout the virtual school day.

1. Create a “Doing school on my own jar”

For a fun way to praise and encourage independent virtual learning moments, keep track of them in a jar! Each time you find your child practicing vocab words without help, or solving a problem without screaming for help, write it down on a post-it and toss it in a jar. This can be an exciting way to keep your child motivated and foster independent learning.

2. Set small, clear, and attainable independence goals

Consider your child’s strengths when setting initial goals. If your intention is to foster independence and self-motivation, you want to strive for achievable goals that can be built on with time. For example, you may notice that your child struggles with working independently on homework. Say to them, “I notice how hard you’ve been working on your reading prompts, so I am confident you can do 5 questions on your own. I’ll be back to check on you in 10 minutes.” Tip: Many children feel anxious about working alone for a reason – try asking them what makes them nervous about doing homework on their own – Maybe they are worried they won’t understand? Or are too afraid to admit they need help?

3. What is getting in the way of independence?

Narrow down your child’s unique executive functioning needs that may be leading to difficulty with independent learning. You may see your child procrastinating and refusing to do homework because they are struggling with planning, time management, or initiation skills. Digging deeper into your child’s unique executive needs can clarify the why and tackle the need behind some of their challenges with independence. 

4. Create a visual schedule

Parents are finding themselves checking up on their kids every hour (sometimes more) to redirect them, get them on the right link, or simply keep them on track. At school, children have their daily schedules posted on the board for them to reference. When creating a visual schedule at home, think about using a dry erase board or chalkboard. You can place it in their learning space to reference throughout the day. Then, when your kiddo inevitably asks you “Do I have art today? Is today a science or reading day? How many vocab words are due tomorrow?”- you can encourage them to check their visual schedule.

5. Keep realistic expectations

Remember, virtual learning is really, really tough, for students and parents. Set online learning expectations that work for your family – even if they are different from your teacher’s expectations. Don’t be afraid to consult with your child’s teacher about the concerns you have regarding their ability to learn at home. There is only one you, you can’t do it all!

For more virtual learning advice, check out our article on A Child Therapist’s Top 3 Tips for Virtual Learning or 3 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Child When You’re Stressed AF

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