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Help Set Your Child Up for Success With Online Learning

Remote and hybrid school can be a challenge, so we’ve gathered a few tips that may be useful for your online student.

Parents everywhere are navigating the new reality of online learning as kids start  this school year in the shadow of the COVID-19 global pandemic. From full remote learning in Charlottesville and Fairfax County public schools, to a hybrid learning model in places like Culpeper County and Augusta County, Virginia schools are making every effort to give our kids a positive and productive learning experience. We’ve pulled together a few tips that we hope might make your student’s school year get off on the right foot.  

One of the best things you can do for your working-from-home student is to help them set up a designated workspace. This will help make it easier for them to transition quickly from “at home mode” into “school mode,” even though they may be moving only a few steps. The workspace doesn’t have to be anything fancy — maybe a corner of the kitchen table, a small desk in their bedroom, or a folding table set up in the family room. The important thing is finding a place where your student can focus exclusively on school, and where he or she can set up and leave all of the needed school supplies. 

Having a work-only area will help your student more easily focus on schoolwork when they are sitting down in front of their computer or tablet to attend class. It’s a good idea to remove any distractions — such as non-school-related notifications on electronic devices or a pet who might ask for attention — to further aid concentration.

Try to make sure that your student takes frequent breaks — to stand up, stretch, drink a glass of water, spend a few minutes outside, even take a quick walk around the block. In a school setting kids have many chances to get up and move around and interact with others, and it’s important to remember to take a mental and physical break from sitting in front of their computer.

Encourage your child to stay connected with his or her friends. Social interaction is an important part of being in school, and even though in-person hangout time is mostly off of the table right now, video-chat and messaging apps are great ways for kids to “see” each other, and an old-fashioned conversation on the telephone can be fun, too.

Stay positive! Our kids tend to take their cues from us, and if we approach this unique school year with negativity, kids are sure to adopt the same outlook. It’s certainly not the ideal situation for anyone, but a positive attitude can go a long way toward helping ease any anxiety your student may be feeling about the uncharted waters of this unique school year. 

All of us at Burnett & Williams hope that the students and educators in our community are having a successful back-to-school experience!