For several weeks now, many millions of students have been forced to change their habits and adapt to new models of learning that were hitherto largely unknown to most. E-learning or distance education has been imposed at a fast pace in all homes with children and adolescents, becoming a routine with which we have to live.
While the students try to adapt to virtual learning, parents face, in turn, important challenges among which are: managing to keep the children focused on their studies, making their telework compatible with their children’s homework and solving the doubts that may arise from the instructions of teachers and the school.
Making all this a daily habit and not dying in the attempt involves a great deal of patience and, above all, realism. Let’s take it easy.and assume that this is temporary, that it will lead us to another reality and that it is not bad, just different.
In order to optimize this time of study at home, it is important to emphasize the importance of short periods of study and breaks in which both child psychologists and neuroscience experts also insist. Concentration time is 2 to 5 minutes for each year of life, so an 8 year old child could maintain between 16 and 40 minutes of attention at most. It is therefore important that we plan shorter working periods with intermediate breaks according to age and that we define very well during these working periods what the objectives are and what they should do, so that we can focus their attention even more.
Even if they are not at school, it is necessary that the children have some time for rest and recreation: This pandemic is also teaching us not to have such strict schedules as we had a few months ago when we were running from one extra-curricular activity to another. The children know this and it is important to mark out routines, for cleaning, to collaborate at home or to study, but also to establish moments for play and leisure. Recess becomes a treasure, if possible outdoors and if they incorporate a physical activity, even better. The rest of the day, if we also incorporate activities related to the arts, the advantage will be exponential.
It is advisable to encourage your children’s autonomy when it comes to facing their tasks. Obviously, this is not the same psychological and even physical dependence that a child in the first years of primary school has, compared to a child in secondary school. That is why it is vital to contact their teacher and follow their guidelines. But depending on the level of education, it may even be counterproductive to review the tasks, so it is better to ensure that we are in line with the formula chosen by the teacher and the school.