In most regions of the country, students will be learning from home instead of in a classroom during the 2020-2021 school year. This will create create an unprecedented challenge for kids and their families. Here are High Performance Tutoring‘s best tips for effectively managing these new waters:
1. REWARD SYSTEM: Be sure to set up a reward system in which your child has a positive incentive to do their school work and earn good grades. Prizes can come in many forms such as gifts, financial rewards, snacks/candy, video game time, outdoor experiences, time with friends, etc. A good method is to allow students to earn points by achieving certain milestones and the allowing them to cash in points for prizes. Points can be rewarded in proportion to the size of the achievement, and can be redeemed in proportion to the size of the prize. Good teachers often use some form of this system in order to get their students to stay focused and perform their best. When working from home, students will lack this important element of the classroom experience, so it is important to build this into the distance learning experience.
2. THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE: It is tempting for students to use their phones or computer web browsers to distract themselves with texting, social media, videos, games, and more. Students should try to study and complete their school work with as few distractions as possible. However, it can be difficult to enforce a “no cellphone” policy for hours at a time. Instead, try using the Pomodoro technique. Traditionally, this is where a person focuses exclusively on their work for 25 minutes, and then they get a 5 minute break, then they refocus for 25 minutes, and then they get another 5 minute break, and so on. During the focus time, students must focus exclusively on their school work and not engage in any distracting activities. During their break, they are free to check social media, text their friends, etc. You can adjust the length of the focus time and break time. Perhaps your child can only focus for 10 minutes before needing a break. Then start there and incrementally increase to 25 minutes as they improve.
3. DEDICATED STUDY SPACE: For the past several years, your child has been psychologically conditioned to remain calm and focused while in the classroom. They have learned to associate the space with concentration, listening, and learning. Your home likely does not yet have an equivalent space suited for learning, so you must create your own. Ideally it should be clean, quiet, well-lit, and contain as few distractions as possible. It takes about three weeks to develop a habit. Ideally, after three weeks of using this space in your home for learning, your child will begin to make the same associations there as they would in the classroom.
4. CONSISTENT SCHEDULE: Set up particular times of the day and days of the week in which your child is responsible for doing their work. They should set their alarm for a consistent time each weekday morning and begin their work at a pre-determined time. Specific time intervals should be devoted to different subjects or tasks (e.g. 9am – 10am is math class). People learn and focus much better when they are concentrating on one thing at a time. When in math class, they only should be focused on math, and not thinking about their English project. The same should be true when working at home. It may take some careful planning at the beginning of the semester to determine how to best set up this schedule based on their workload in each class, but it will be worth the investment of time. Again, it takes three weeks to develop a habit. So the most difficult part will be adhering to this for the first three weeks. After that it will happen naturally.
5. SUPPORT SYSTEMS: Make sure your child has space to celebrate or boast when they do an amazing job in school, but also a place to vent frustration when things do not go well. Parents, teachers, and classmates can be great resources for this. Ensure your child can find the help they need when the subject matter becomes challenging or tedious. It’s easy for kids to lose motivation or interest when tasks seem exceedingly difficult. In the classroom, teachers would often step in at this point. This school year, teachers will hold virtual office hours for students each week, although they may not have enough time to help every pupil. Now is a better time than ever for your child to work with a private tutor. A high-quality tutor will improve your child’s learning, build their confidence, keep them motivated, and raise their grades.
Are you in need of an exceptional online tutor to work with your child or learning pod this school year? High Performance Tutoring is known for selectively hiring and training the best online tutors in the United States so we can bring you the best possible learning experience. During the Covid-19 Pandemic we are primarily offering online tutoring which means you have access to our entire network of learning professionals. Visit our website at www.highperformancetutoring.com to get start improving grades and test scores today!