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Is Online Learning Really Effective for Younger Learners

While virtual learning is the best option for most schools since the onset of the pandemic, which caused nationwide lockdowns, this method of educating students comes with its own cons.

Any teacher that deals with little kids knows that the best way to teach them is a hands-on approach with ample time for practice. In any pre-school or kindergarten class you walk into, you will surely see an activity center somewhere in the room, with fun, colorful learning tools that will keep children engaged.

Puzzles, mazes, colorful bricks, and free reading comprehension worksheets help your kids make connections and learn better through play. Visit here for a free reading comprehension worksheet.

With the coronavirus and the safety protocols that have been put in place, schools that have reopened operate under strict guidelines, including the social distancing rules that require no touching or sharing of objects, and maintaining six feet between people.

Virtual learning and social distancing might work for older students, but the truth is that the younger learners bear the brunt of the disadvantages of online learning.

Students who need special attention will struggle with online learning

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It might be hard to imagine a young kindergartner already struggling with schoolwork. However, there are some kids who are behind their peers in terms of education. Sometimes, it is caused by poor home conditions, and other times the child might simply require special attention.

Kids will not get adequate supervision

Many parents already enroll their kids in daycares due to their tight work schedules. Having their children forced to stay and learn from home means that they must assist their children with schoolwork and online learning.

If the parents simply do not have the time, the children will miss out on those learning moments that require hands-on supervision, which their teachers would have provided in physical class.

The switch from physical classes to online learning might be difficult for parents, students and teachers to keep up with, but there are some tips to ensure success with virtual learning.

Maintain personal meetings with students

It won’t be easy to fit this into your busy schedule as a teacher, but you can try to create one-on-one time with each student, where they communicate with you in any area they are having problems. This will build trust and a better relationship over time, and you will also be more aware of each student’s strength and weakness.

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Collaborate with parents to create proper timetables and school habits

Send regular emails to update parents on what their children are learning in school, what assignment they have to do, and how they can help the kids to practice what they learn in class. Include some helpful tips and tricks that will make it easier for the parents and kids.

Offer resources to students who need them

Find out from your school the possibility of loaning out manipulatives and other hands-on learning tools that will help your students learn more comfortably at home. If this is not possible, inform parents on how they can create DIY learning objects, and what home supplies can be used for art and music classes.

Online classes are not the best for younger students, but with the technology we have today, teachers and students can find a way to make it work. Follow the simple tips to make the most out of your online classes.

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Homework often leads to arguments

Actually, the child has his beloved soccer training in the afternoon, has a date with his girlfriend or wants to go buy the urgently needed shoes – but the homework is not finished yet. The child dawdles does not concentrate and smears and is too good in the end it comes to a solid quarrel. A very typical family situation that doesn’t have to be that way. Neither he does the daily hours of practicing the school material.

How much time is appropriate?

The real purpose of homework is that the material learned in school should be applied and deepened at home, independently and in a reasonable amount of time. There are general guidelines for this ‘reasonable time’. Thirty minutes for the first and second grades, one hour for the third and fourth grades, ninety minutes for grades five and six, and two hours per day for the upper grades. Sometimes more, sometimes less – but on average this time should be enough and give the child the opportunity to have plenty of space for leisure activities.

What do I do if my child needs significantly longer?

If these times are exceeded regularly, even homework dragging on all afternoon every day and determining the entire family life, then something is wrong. On the one hand, this can be due to the framework for homework, and on the other hand, the child is overburdened or insufficiently challenged, but it can also be because the respective teacher misjudges the situation. In the last two cases, an interview with the teacher is advisable. Most of the time, however, this is not necessary. A few simple rules are often enough to bring calm back into a situation that is often full of emotions and stress.

The right time is different for each individual

First of all, it is important to determine the right time for homework, preferably together with the child. Because everyday school life is exhausting and children react differently to it. Some want to finish everything as quickly as possible in order to have their head free, others need a certain amount of time first – either to rest or to let off steam. These different needs should be taken into account when planning. However, the agreed time must also be adhered to by both sides.

The optimal environment

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Another important point is the homework environment. For this it is necessary that the child has a quiet place in which to work. This can be the desk in your own room, but it can also be the vacated family dining table. The latter is particularly suitable for primary school children, who often find it difficult to organize themselves in their own room. Then it is sometimes necessary to bring the child’s attention back to the tasks.

The role of the siblings

Siblings too now have to be considerate and leave the working child alone. Smaller siblings can often be calmed down by the fact that they are also allowed to do “homework”. In some cases, larger ones can also take on the role of tutor. “Many children prefer the help of older siblings, as they mostly know the textbook, have mastered special learning paths and technical terms, may have had the same difficulties and can therefore often help more specifically and more quickly than their parents,” reports Dr. Britta Kelly from the pedagogical department California University of Applied Sciences from her many years of experience with the subject.