Published: November 25, 2020
There is no question that in the world of primary and post-secondary education, 2020 has been the most disruptive year in living memory.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit Canada in the early months of the year, schools and universities alike were left scrambling to figure out how to realistically handle a massive shift to online learning. Parents, meanwhile, were often confronted with the challenge of keeping up with their own work while supervising their children’s schooling.
Fortunately, by the time schools cautiously reopened in September, online learning had gone from being an emergency necessity to being something that parents and teachers had been able to get a better grasp on.
Though no one would claim that online learning is without its challenges, according to at least one survey, a clear majority of students believe it to be preferable to going back to in-person classes full-time while the pandemic is still unfolding. And some students even report a preference for online learning because it frees them from the social pressures that are a major hurdle to learning in-person.
While there is no end yet in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming clear that the 2020-2021 school year can still be a time of learning and growth for primary and secondary school students — if students are able to adjust to a radically different type of online study.
If you want to help your kids get the most out of their education during this difficult time, here are three of the most important factors influencing the degree to which students can adjust to and even thrive while learning online.
1. Sufficient Preparation
Preparation is essential to success in just about any long-term project, and this is exactly how online learning should be imagined — as a marathon rather than a sprint.
Several months into distance learning, you’ve probably started to develop routines and practices to help manage your child’s studies. But it is often the case that these practices have something of an ad-hoc quality to them, and an arrangement that started as being a temporary solution has become a daily frustration.
Taking the time to step back and think about how your time and space could be organized more effectively will help you be more intentional about your family’s approach to online learning, and can help you remove distractions and create a more effective environment for learning.
If you are interested in providing more fulsome support for you kids, here are a few things you can do to help them get the most out of the online learning experience (you can also check out our tips to prepare them for online tutoring here):
- Involve your children in creating weekly schedules
- Encourage kids to pick out school supplies and decorate their workstations
- Dedicate time every morning to light exercises and stretching
- Build active time into every day
- Set daily goals
- Schedule tutoring for a time when kids have had a chance to recover from daily lessons
When you treat online learning as a new normal rather than an unpleasant deviation, you can start to reap the benefits that come from a well-designed online education routine.
2. Extra Support
Now more than ever, children need extra support from the adults in their lives if they are to meet their learning goals and thrive in this new educational environment.
At the same time, you may not be at liberty to dedicate as much time to educational support as you might want to — after all, you may be facing your own challenges adjusting to the difficulties of working online, and won’t necessarily have the freedom to drop everything to take up your children’s education full-time.
Tutoring has always been a great way to supplement your child’s education, but during the pandemic expert online tutoring services can be an absolute lifeline for parents who are juggling work, housekeeping, and learning support.
As a tutoring service that has long been offering extra help and curriculum support to children in the education system, Prep Academy Tutors understands that effective tutoring plays an important role in helping children master difficult subjects.
For this reason, we have adapted our services to offer as much support as possible so kids can continue to learn during the coronavirus pandemic, both online and in-person (you can click here to learn more about how we work to maintain high levels of service during the pandemic).
Perhaps the most important aspect of succeeding with online learning, however, is maintaining a degree of flexibility. An arrangement that works in September may not be feasible in November, so being responsive to the needs of your children is essential.
The lack of opportunities to socialize is one of the hardest aspects of distance education, especially for younger kids for whom learning is a communal activity, but striking the right balance between online education and in-person learning can be difficult.
This is why Prep Academy Tutors has responded to the challenges of tutoring during the pandemic by offering learning pods. What are learning pods you might ask? A learning pod is a small group of students learning in-person from a qualified teacher in a controlled environment. More restricted than a classroom setting but still providing the freedom to learn in a social environment, learning pods provide a safer way for kids to learn together during the pandemic.
Signing your child up for a learning pod through Prep Academy Tutors is an excellent supplement to online learning, especially for more outgoing students who find that being isolated from their peers is an obstacle to development.
One of the things that has become increasingly apparent over the past few months is the extent to which a return to normal is unlikely, even if the number of cases starts to decline. Many experts predict that the pandemic will fundamentally reshape how we think about learning.
Families that are able to adapt to this new reality and achieve success with online learning will be much better positioned than those who yearn for an unrecoverable past, and if you want to find out what kind of role tutoring can play in the hybrid education system of the future, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.