From Language Teacher, Leigh Lowman:
Congratulations! You and your children have almost completed the third week of online learning! As you know, it has been quite an adjustment to go from our traditional learning model to this uncharted digital territory. I am so proud of our accomplishments, and it is with this in mind that I want to share some insights and suggestions for continued success going forward. Digitally spending time with your kids every week, I have observed students expressing issues with focus, attention, and motivation. The following few suggestions will definitely help alleviate these issues.
Have students turn off all devices for at least two hours a day.
This could be broken up in smaller increments, but it is important the kids have time where they are not tethered to any device. They won’t like it, but it’s good for them to realize that their phones are not their lives.
Have students store electronics in a neutral room in your home and not in their personal rooms.
They need to rest at night, and the pull of their devices can prohibit them from wanting to sleep or from getting a good night's sleep. Setting a time at night and in the morning when devices cannot be used takes away the opportunity to use devices impulsively.
Have students participate in physical activities multiple times per day.
This could be as simple as walking around the block or going for a run. I have also noticed that kids need a screen break in between classes. They seem frustrated and tired but don’t really understand why, especially in the afternoon. Walking around the house, stretching, doing simple exercises, and getting outside seems to lessen this frustration. They just don’t realize they need it until they come back feeling better!
Have students spend time actually reading a real book, writing with a pen or pencil, and using their hands for purposes other than school.
Let’s be honest. We all need this. There is a healthy balance between digital and hands-on learning. Have your kids color with crayons, write a diary entry to their older selves detailing their time during quarantine, or simply play with Playdoh.
While our new schedule was developed with minimizing screen time in mind, it is our responsibility as parents to monitor the time they are not in front of devices. This is crucial but definitely challenging, as boredom and a desire to be with friends on social media dominate our lives.
As a teacher, I am so thankful that this is a temporary situation, and I cannot wait to see—really see—my kiddos again!