There can be certain exceptional situations that force children to stay at home for long periods of time. At this time, parents become the teachers of our children and we must seek alternative educational models that allow them to learn and review without going to school. Next we talk about how it should be a home learning plan to make it useful and productive for children.
The indispensable tools in this context of confinement will be the new technologies. Tablets and computers become great protagonists, since they are capable of responding to the needs of children who cannot leave the house. In this way, students will spend more time than normal in front of a screen, which means:
- Greater dedication to virtual classes, 'reaching out' to online content.
- To this we must add that the channel used to continue their social relationships is also digitized. Meet friends, send challenges, etc.
For everything to go well and to have a positive impact on students, all these efforts must be well oriented. Adults should strive so that young people do not get out of control and this negatively affects their behavior, their emotions and their social relationships. For this you have to remember:
1. If it is not a vacation period, we are not on vacation
If this situation in which we cannot leave home does not occur during a vacation period, we cannot take it on vacation. This means that it is necessary to continue with the curriculum and review what has already been learned.
2. Enable a space for study
Students, especially when they are young, are very easily distracted. It is recommended that a space be enabled in which you can study with the minimum of possible conditions: well lit, a table, a chair, etc. An adequate space that benefits study and health.
Some strategies to achieve this will be:
- Close all browser tabs, programs and applications that have nothing to do with the subject that is being discussed or studied.
- Leave the mobile in silence and out of the space provided.
- Ensure that the environment is free of noise and other distracting people.
3. Set expectations
Adults and youth need to be clear about expectations for online participation. Studying at a distance is a different context from face-to-face studies. It is important to be successful that young people are well aware of their strengths and limits.
They also have to bear in mind that this new way of proceeding is a way of don't miss a beat of the course and there is no void. It is not a substitute for face-to-face education.
We continue pointing out some of the keys that a good home learning plan should have. It is important to highlight the presence of marked schedules and routines at home.
4. The routine and the schedules
It is important to try to keep the usual schedules (sleep, study, rest). But the reality is that being in front of the screen all day is too much, both for children and for teachers.
For this reason, from the educational centers one way of so many other ways of functioning is the following: there is usually an online class in the morning, tasks are sent to do during the afternoon and the next day they are corrected. This type of 'school schedule' allows flexibility for organization for the whole family.
5. Establish a good family organization
Beyond the schedule that is established for the learning plan of our children from school, it is necessary to organize at the family level. One way to plan tasks will be like this:
- Make a table with the days of the week horizontally and the hours vertically.
- Define activities prioritizing their importance, such as what time to wake up, when to eat, study hours including breaks, free time, etc.
- Define what subject to tackle that day.
- Set the schedule in a visible and preferably place, so that the whole family can consult it.
6. Take breaks
To be able to maintain attention during the study, children need to take breaks from time to time. When the work depends on the child, that is, doing homework or studying, it is recommended that there be breaks every 50 or 60 minutes so as not to saturate the attention span of the students.
For students to maintain an 'active focus' it is recommended that after this period of concentration they take breaks to do something different and rest the brain. Leisure activities are beneficial, but you have to put limitations, as with study assignments.
In addition, it is important to eat well and drink plenty of water. The breaks will be a good time to return to school with more force.
7. A common learning plan
It is recommended that student-teacher-parent communication and a common curriculum be maintained to prevent each student from studying whatever they want on their own. Ideally, everyone should have a common methodology. When the student has doubts, he should write to the teacher and consult everything he needs as is done in face-to-face education.
8. Learning must be attractive
Online learning should be clear and engaging for the student with achievable goals to work on each week. For this, it is important to know that in this context in front of a screen, students have difficulty making time each day to absorb specialized knowledge of each subject, so it is better to allocate one day per week for all elective activities.
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