Most school-aged kids did not jump at the opportunity to leave the school environment in favor of distance learning. The quarantine put stresses on families and has challenged many of us to adjust to video-based interactions.
For children who struggle with attention challenges, home-based learning and remote teaching can be even more difficult. As we look to the fall and the possibility of a mixture of in-school and distance learning, here are some suggestions on how to ease your child’s way (and yours).
Reduce At-Home Distractions
Headphones that block out ambient sounds and a microphone that amplifies your voice can help block out the world around you. Try facing a corner or making a mini-“fort” to reduce distractions.
Minimize On-Camera Distractions
Video cameras can capture things going on behind other students. Be aware of these distractions and ask students to keep the cat off the keyboard and the tv off in the background. It’s not easy, but it does help! When students minimize these distractions, all students can more easily focus on the class.
The pomodoro method works for adults and children. In addition to getting up and moving, we suggest adding breaks to rest your child’s eyes. As the class schedule allows, take a break to look at a point far away, maybe look for birds outside the window and follow their movements for a minute or two.
Develop a Schedule
Work to establish a regular schedule that includes breaks and flexibility for when days have their ups and downs. Setting one day each week to have a theme or focus for independent work (e.g. Math on Monday) can help your child feel a sense of accomplishment. Using a visual schedule to keep track of the week will also help your child focus.
With a few simple strategies, your child with attention challenges can have a better distance learning experience.