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It can be frustrating trying to help our kids with their online learning. As a parent, guardian, teacher or tutor, you may find yourself battling for the attention of your student. You’re up against a formidable foe, namely online video games, tik tok video, Instagram feeds and the like. But do not despair. With a little creativity and understanding, you can help kids thrive and actually enjoy their online learning.
Here are 5 ways to do it like a boss!
Know your enemy
While tik tok and online video games can be rather enjoyable when kept in their proper place, they take the stage as an enemy of online learning when our children or students begin to give IT more attention instead of their school work. And if you know kids well, you know very well that if you tell them to turn it off, they will keep it on during the school lesson just to make you mad.
So, get to know your enemy. If you find that tik tok videos and online games are taking their attention then use it to your advantage. For example, can you use a tik tok video to illustrate a lesson and encourage student participation based on the video? Can you make a game out of your lessons or instructions to encourage friendly competition among your students? Since you know what’s stealing your child or student’s attention, use those distractions as teaching tools and incorporate them in the lesson! Before you know it you’ll have your students engaged and participating before they realize it!You kids will never know what hit them.
2. Hand over responsibility
One great way to ensure student participation is to hand them over a measure of authority and responsibility. Can you have them assigned as a student tutor or helper and use them to engage other students during the class? Can they help teach one of your lessons? Can you give them the job to watch over their younger siblings during school session and provide positive incentives for their help? Children love to feel helpful. When you give them a job at home or in the classroom, they will come more prepared to have a fuller share in the lesson.
3. Compliment them
When young people feel like their contributions are truly valued, they will be more inclined to participate and be active learners. So, find ways to commend your students individually and collectively. If a student turned their assignment in on time when they are usually late, be sure to personally commend them for their renewed effort! When your child shows you their D+ when it was originally an F, be sure to celebrate with them and let them know that you see their efforts. This will inspire your children to try harder and do more!
4. Get personal
Without being nosy, ask them about their day and find out what's going on in their personal lives. Simple questions like what did you do yesterday that was fun or name one positive thing that happened to you today. This will help the child see that you are interested in them personally and will motivate them to have a fuller share. As educators, it is very important that we do not cross the lines of the teacher/student relationship.
One way to do that is to keep personal and direct messages to students at a minimum. When those connections are made, keep them friendly yet professional at all times. Also, this is not your time to unburden your worries, fears and joys on the student. You have adult friends for that. This is your time to help them unburden. That being the case we should show our students in very clear and professional ways that they matter. When they know that they matter, your thoughts, opinions and class lessons will begin to matter to them more.
5. Be realistic
Remember that no matter how much you get your students or child to love and enjoy learning, there will be some days they just are not into it. These days you may find yourself struggling to get their attention or getting frustrated because they are completely silent. Do not despair. Children go silent sometimes because they have some many distractions they are battling with or they may just have had a really long week or weekend. So, be realistic in your expectations. You won’t have an amazing class or an amazing session with your child or student all the time. So on those not so great days be sure to remind your students that you understand their struggle and that you have confidence that they will be able to meet their challenges all in good time if they do not give up.
Your job as a parent, teacher and educator surely is not an easy one. However, youths are privileged to have you in their life and don’t you ever forget that. You inspire future doctors, scientists and CEO’s everyday and you are a tremendous support to the community. So even on the child's worst day, remember that you may very well be the best part of it.