If you have a kid that goes to an online school, it’s understandable if your protective instincts kick in occasionally. However, read this article to find a healthy measure of help and support for your child during an online class.
Creating a Safe and Calm Environment During Online Class
When in an online class a tutor must have the attention of your child. It is also important that your child feels safe from any judgment. That means that, ideally, your child will be alone in a room. That means no siblings, TV, and preferably any noise in the background. If a child is too young, let’s say six to ten years old, it is okay for an adult to monitor class. However, make sure it’s from a reasonable distance. If there are any issues, technical or other, feel free to step in and help.
Removing all things that could be distracting to a child during online class will help you, the tutor, and your child. That doesn’t mean it should be dead silent in the room. For example, some soothing music is okay, but it depends on the child’s preferences. What you shouldn’t do is allow TV, mobile phones, and apps on them to be a distraction during class.
Overcoming Physical Distance
Again, if your child is at a younger age, it’s important that you or some other adults are present. In that way, you can make sure that the child is paying attention. Also, you can prevent zoning out, since younger children tend to do that. Since tutors aren’t physically in the room, they can have the child’s attention, but to some extent. Help your child in the introduction phase to understand that there is a live person behind a screen. Once you establish that and the pace of learning it will become much easier. Easier for you, easier for the tutor, and most importantly – easier for a child.
Upbringing and Control
It goes without saying that yelling and scorning shouldn’t be a part of an online class. If your child doesn’t behave correctly at some point during class, talk about it. Talk calmly in a pedagogical manner, but make sure it happens after class. In that way, a child won’t waste time with a tutor. Furthermore, a child won’t feel embarrassed in front of a tutor. Besides, if you talk in private rather than in the middle of the class, it will be easier to explain what was wrong with the child’s behavior.
Engagement With a Tutor During Online Class
While your child is in class, ideally there won’t be any need for you to talk to a tutor. Again, if your child is still quite young, it’s understandable to make sure in the beginning everything works fine. In the first couple of classes, make sure you are close by. In that way, you can observe and step in when needed. If all goes to plan, after a while you won’t be needed. Once a tutor and a child establish the pace and mutual respect, it should be a smooth sail.
What you shouldn’t do, is take classes instead of your child. Often parents, with good intent, sit beside a child and get carried away. When a parent tries to lead a child to a correct answer, they end up answering a question themselves. In that way, lessons become less efficient and it’s a loss for a child and a tutor. Make sure your child behaves nicely during classes, but don’t take them instead.
Shyness in Front of a Tutor During Online Class
If your child is timid and an introvert, fear not. Together with a tutor, you can help them overcome it. Make sure to explain to them that the tutor is there for them and not the other way around. Also, the tutor must have a certain degree of authority so make sure to explain that. Our tutors are polite, calm, and above all friendly. However, a child mustn’t perceive them just as an authority, or just as a friend. First will lead to fear and shyness, and the latter to disrespect and a chaotic atmosphere. Ideally, you want to find the middle.
The teenage period is especially challenging for a parent. If your child is of that age, try to establish a respectful connection with a tutor. Explain to them, that in a long run they would regret missing out on education. Make sure that you tried your best and the tutor will do the same.
Make sure that your child has enough time before class to prepare the right way. If classes are in the morning, make sure that their morning routine is done. In that way, the child can focus better on the subject, and it will learn more quickly. Arguments, disagreements, and skirmishes are normal things when you have a child. However, they shouldn’t take place right before classes. If there is a problem, make sure that you find the right time to talk about it. Immediately after the class isn’t good either. You should let the material learned in the class sink in with a child. Anyhow, the rest of the day is long enough to talk it through.
It is always desirable to encourage your child when they do something nice. However, don’t make that habit too often. If you do that for every minor milestone you will achieve the opposite. But providing small presents now and then is a healthy way to go. That doesn’t have to be a material reward. A shorter pep talk or praise will do the job just as well. If the tutor of your child is content with the progress they made, or they got high grades, make sure to acknowledge that and wind a way to reward it.
If you want to see how our tutors are dealing with students and get to know our unique online learning methodology, take a look at the video below. It is from our podcast Let’s Talk About It, where our tutors Tammy and Luke explain how online classes at EduWW look like