Are your children suffering from remote learning burnout? Well, help is here!
Remember when screen time seemed to be the biggest concern? That seems like a million years ago. Now, instead of kids sitting in front of the screen playing video games, they have to sit in front of the screen for hours at a time not just for school, but for virtual clubs, etc., as well.
According to the experts in an article on Romper.com, all of that peering at the screen is a recipe for remote learning fatigue and burnout.
“It seems safe to say that we’ve all experienced a collective increase of stress,” licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist Loren Lomme of Just Mind Counseling in Austin, Texas, told Romper.
According to Lomme, signs that kids are stressed may look like: increased mood swings, headaches, stomachaches, changes in sleep and eating habits, and difficulty focusing.
With the increased pressure on both students and parents to get this new mode of learning education right, Heather Clarke, MSpED, an early childhood and special education teacher in New York, has some advice, “Let it go.”
“Things are not just “business as usual” right now for students, teachers, or parents,” said Clarke in the Romper article. “We have to make our health, safety, and emotional well-being the priority at this moment.”
Just how are parents supposed to do that and make sure that their student doesn’t fall behind? According to the experts, here are a few strategies for parents whose kids are ready to truly break the Internet!
Keep it fresh.
“Keep in mind that most teachers change their bulletin boards often, which increases classroom interest,” said Jill White, an educational consultant and retired teacher who’s been in the field of education for 35 years. “You don’t have to buy new things, just move things around if need be.”
According to Clarke, young learners need colorful visuals, alphabet charts, and more. “These should all be hung low enough that your young learners can use them as references as needed.”
Get creative and change it up! Make it colorful, functional, and fun. Let the kids help design their school spaces. because that way, they are invested.
Break some rules.
“It’s not a natural way [for kids] to learn to sit at a desk or table and have cameras on all day,” said education designer Dr. Karen Aronian, Ed.D. “Let kids fidget while they remote work: Have their Legos, Barbies, spinners, and Play-Doh or putty, coloring book in reach, as well as their go-to snacks, drinks, and pets. They can do these things mindlessly as they follow along with the class or lesson.”
Home should be no different than school. If Ms. Smith’s class has an alphabet rug and Lego blocks on the floor, so should yours.
Let technology do (some more of) the work for little ones.
“We know that we are teaching 5- and 6-year-olds, and we want to make sure every learning opportunity we provide to your child is appropriate subject matter and length,” said Kindergarten teacher Megan Dean of Spring Lake, Michigan. “I cannot just talk to them for my whole Zoom lesson; I need to bring in outside tools.”
According to Clarke, “Parents should feel empowered to have a sincere conversation with the admin and teachers at the school about workload and what learning methods work for their child.”
Enforce breaks and days off, no matter what.
“It’s OK to let your kids take a mental health day every once in a while. A long weekend can do wonders for the brain,” said Lorie Anderson, mom of three in the article.
A break will not only be good for the student, it will be great for parents too. Recharge with family game night, movie night, or even video game night. Your child will be okay and still make the grade. Before they know it, they will be back in school with their friends. After that, quarantine remote learning will be a distant memory.