maria sansone

5 Ways to Help Kids Have Fun and Stay Focused While Learning

NBC Universal, Inc.

Parents, are you in need of a pep talk when it comes to this whole Class During COVID thing?  Something to help inspire your kids to keep focused and engaged in their classroom whether it’s in-person or in your living room? We have you covered.

Gahmya Drummond-Bey is a global curriculum developer who has traveled the world studying, learning, and teaching students of all ages from different backgrounds.  She has also taught through two pandemics.

Here are her top five ways for successful learning (or teaching) from home!

  1. Routines Rock

First, follow a routine similar to one you’d create if your kids were leaving the house so they can separate school and home. Simple things like packing a backpack or lunch can help do that. 

Additionally, create a “learning space.” It does not need to be fancy. Simply face a computer toward the wall, so your kid doesn’t get distracted looking at what’s happening behind them (or embarrassed by dad walking by in his underwear!)

2. Embrace the Fidget

Next, Gahmya encourages everyone to embrace the fidget; it is natural. Instead of telling your child to “sit still,” give them a ball to bounce on the desk or a doodle pad to, well, doodle on.

Gahmya’s favorite is something she learned from her Chinese students and their families: Give students something to drink, like hot tea, so that the student can focus on something with their hands while keeping their mind on track. (Of course, consult your doctor before giving your child any herbal teas.)

3. Share Schedules

Students thrive when they know what to expect. Try to sit down each morning to share your student’s schedule and your own schedule for the day.  This can help kids find something to look forward to, like snack time or recess.

4. Focus on Fun

Gahmya also suggests finding, and embracing, fun! Students will learn more if they enjoy it.

5. Connecting is Key

Finally, when kids are learning from home, Gahmya says the biggest thing they are missing is human connection.

While you can’t replicate the exact classroom environment, you can hug your child to remind them they are loved and supported.

It's as important as anything else on your to-do list, like making dinner or putting the kids to bed. So, go ahead and add it to your list. It will be the best task you check off all day, every day.

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