Top-tips for distance learning: creating a work space and limiting screen-time

Foster productivity in your child with these expert tips on getting distance learning right from a teacher

While we’re a week into distance learning, many of us are still adapting to supervising our child’s academics. Away from the classroom and teachers it can be hard for kids to stay focused and for us, as parents to keep them motivated.

Creating the right environment for your child is an important part of getting them engaged. We caught up with Mr Aaron Yasities, Year 4 teacher at Dubai Heights Academy and asked him his top-tips for creating a happy and successful home learning environment:

  1. Make a dedicated space for learning

Children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable and dedicated learning space. This is ideally where they don’t usually play games or watch television. Fill this space with learning-related items such as pens, books, writing tablets, blackboards and interactive learning games.

It’s important for them to stay as active as possible. Photo by Markus Spiske

2. Digital recess or take breaks throughout the day

This is helpful, especially in the younger age group with shorter attention span. Give kids ample brain breaks and schedule learning activities for short bursts of time throughout the day. It can be doing something fun or physical to keep them energised.

Endorse regular movement breaks such as dancing to music, performing animal walks, doing wall or chair push-ups, getting out and about in the garden if possible.

It is really important that children to get some fresh air in the back garden or balcony, having a break and enjoying spending time with each other, as this helps their mental health and brings them back fresh for the next task.

Children should also be encouraged to keep contact with their classmates on secured chat platforms.

3. Plan ahead

Know your child’s daily/weekly schedule and learning objectives and develop a written plan for the day or week. Not only will this give you a handle on your teaching priorities, but it will help kids focus and learn to create goals, tasks and deadlines.

Make sure you adopt a regular teaching and homework schedule. Adhering to a structured routine will give your child the opportunity to maximise time for learning as well as leisure time to produce a healthy balance.

Also ensure there’s a variety of tasks and lessons, as this helps engage the children and get them excited. From PE lessons to writing a story, Seesaw to Mymaths to literacy planet tasks, make sure they’re getting a variety of activities.

Ensure they take breaks from technology. Photo by Annie Spratt.

4. Digital quarantine

Ironically, consider limiting your child’s gadget-use until their schoolwork is complete. Games, apps and messaging can be fun but also distracting.

It might be helpful to allocate a basket or box where kids can keep all the gadgets tucked away during learning hours. Why not encourage other parents in from your child’s friendship group to do the same to minimise temptation? You can also consider using a desktop or laptop for maximum online learning.

Struggling to keep the kids entertained during lockdown? Here are some free and educational activities you can get them to do.

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