It’s no secret that this year has been tough for everyone. Now, as we move into the winter season in the U.S., many schools are starting to close their doors as a safety precaution. Students are once again at home all day, every day for remote learning. If you have students who are learning remote from home, here are five tips to help keep spirits up for good health and productivity.
1. Get outside. As you know, students (and often parents or guardians, too) are spending most of their time in front of screens, whether it’s on Zoom calls, doing homework on the computer, or playing games in the evenings.
Getting students outside for some fresh air and exercise can be a game-changer to boost their concentration and moods. Try a walk, a short bike ride, or coordinate a distanced game of basketball or soccer with a couple of friends at the park. Don’t forget that you also need to get away from your screen. Offer to accompany kids on a walk or bike ride during lunch or break time, so everyone can step away and come back feeling refreshed.
2. Get dressed. Is your student rolling out of bed to their morning class still in their pajamas? Getting dressed in the morning can be a psychological “trick” that tells the mind it’s time to start the day. Plus, dressing in clean clothes has been shown to improve self-confidence and motivation.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. It sounds simple, but in the bustle of remote learning days, students and guardians can forget to eat or can reach for unhealthy convenience foods. Have some healthy and accessible meals and snacks on-hand. Be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, and reduce overly sugary or processed foods and snacks when possible.
4. Stay hydrated. Drinking water is another thing that makes a difference in our focus and performance, but we tend to forget when we’re busy. If your child is having headaches, is irritable, or is distracted and unfocused throughout their day, check whether they’re properly hydrated. Scientific studies have found a correlation between dehydration and impaired cognitive ability, including reduced focus and slower reaction times. Hydration is key to mental health and focus. If students are drinking juice, milk, or soda instead of water throughout the day, replacing some of those beverages with water is a small change that can really add up.
5. Define a work space. Many people are having to rework spaces in their homes to make room for remote education days. Especially for younger children’s short attention spans, it’s important for students to have a designated space to do their work. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, minimal is best. A cleared countertop, a clean desk, or an uncluttered kitchen table can all do the trick. The key is to eliminate distractions as much as possible to improve focus.
If you can start with just one or two of the tips here, you may find improvements in your students’ remote learning days.
Among all the struggles people have had to deal with this year, remote education has been another mountain to climb. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you or your children are having problems at home, we’re here to help.
We specialize in working with children and adolescents who are having problems in school and in any area of life.
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