The pandemic has pushed countries globally to maintain social distancing and lockdown measures. The abrupt shutdown of essential facilities, including schools, has affected 1.2 billion children in 186 countries. Many educational institutes are now trying to adapt to a new hybrid of in-person and online classes.
For many children, shifting to online classes can be difficult, but it’s especially challenging for differently-abled children. To help them settle in and make the most of their virtual classes, here are a few e-learning tips recommended by experienced occupational therapists.
Set A Study Space
Your child is used to a particular schooling environment. Incorporating that into your living space can make the transition less jarring and let them focus on what’s more important; learning.
Try to separate their learning space from their living space. This helps children draw a boundary in their minds about how to behave when sitting in the ‘special online class chair’ rather than the family dining table chair. Additionally, providing them with seating optimized for their height and size can reduce sitting fatigue. If acquiring furniture is difficult, you can always place a box under the chair to prevent their feet from dangling and hurting. Lastly, keep school supplies in close reach to minimize distractions that come with walking around the house.
Follow A Schedule
A significant difference in schools compared to at-home study is the lack of schedule. No school bells, lunch breaks, and recess can cause your child to disconnect from the learning environment they’re familiarized with. Setting expectations for their e-learning can help with the adjustment.
Get a copy of the school’s schedule and try to incorporate it into your day. Use a visual indicator in the schedule for specific e-learning subjects (Math, English, Science, etc.) Post their schedule in a common study-area where you can go over it with them daily. Additionally, make sure to include a non-electronic rule during recess to ensure they give their eyes and brain a break.
It’s important to remember that your child is trying their best to cope with the new normal that they have not fully grasped. Giving them emotional support and helping them navigate their emotions is crucial to their progress.
If your child feels distracted, help them trace their feelings, and put them into words. If that’s proving to be difficult, help them cope through art. Ask them when and why they feel most focused or distracted. Their honest responses can help you determine more effective coping mechanisms.
It’s important to be gentle with yourself while helping your child process the new way of schooling. However, if you find yourself struggling, it’s okay to seek professional help. Pediatric occupational therapists have been through years of training to help understand and provide appropriate treatment. If you’re looking for an occupational therapist in Cedar Grove, you can contact the experts at Bloomfield Institute of Therapy. With nearly 40 years of experience, our team of professional therapists can evaluate and treat your child through their prime developmental years. Contact us today to book an appointment.