These are unprecedented times during the global pandemic. In the last several months the world we were used to dramatically changed and the start of the new school year is no different. Many of the nation's largest school districts started the new academic year completely online and thus the confusion and anxiety set in. It's completely understandable that your child may be feeling overwhelmed, that you as a parent or caretaker, feels overwhelmed. It is a lot to adjust to and we didn't have any time to prepare. Even as we move forward with online learning, everything feels up in the air. Do we send our kids back to school at some point? How will we adjust to these new schedules? When will things go back to normal?
Unfortunately, we do not have all the answers we need right now, but we can offers some helpful tips on soothing any anxiety's about online learning.
Reduce Distractions - this is a new era in your child's academic career. It can be unsettling at any age, but one way to help your child success is to create a private learning space for them. It is a good idea to limit the distractions they have when participating in online learning. Settings up desk space that is away from toys, televisions, and non-class devices is a good start. Give them the feelings that they are "breaking away" from home life and stepping into academic time.
Take Breaks - this is so important. Depending on our child's age and development, they may need more "brain breaks" between learning. Allowing time for your child to walk away from their academic space and get a mental break is ideal. Allowing time to be active, playing outside or exercising, can help reduce anxiety and stress. Give them short breaks through-out the school day.
Time Management: Having a consistent schedule can help parents and children stay on task. It gives structure to the day which can reduce stress and anxiety. Give your child time to wake up, eat breakfast, and prepare for their school day online. Older children and teens may be able to focus on school work for longer periods of time then younger children, but make sure your schedule includes breaks, time for meals, and time to focus on school work, and time for hands on learning.
Communication is Key: Do not be afraid to reach out to your child's teacher or academic advisor. It takes a village! Call for support when you need it. Many times in an overwhelming situation, we may feel the need to shut down, but don't. Be sure to communicate with your child as well. Ask them how they feel about their day or the online learning process. Let them talk about their stresses, likes, and dislikes. Be encouraging and give them affirmations to let them know they are doing well.
We understand that every situation has its own challenges. The is not a one-size-fits-all approach to online leaning. These tips are to help give you some direction and ease your child's anxiety about learning online. If you or your loved one are experiencing high levels of anxiety, stress, or just need to process your emotions during this difficult time, BES Group is here for you. Our team is offering virtual sessions with licensed therapists. Wishing you the best this school year and beyond.