Organizing for Distance Learning
By Claudia Rios-Gastelum, LMFT #97284
Being organized during this academic school year will allow you to be more successful during distance learning. Organization is a skill that does not always come easy to everyone, but the good news is that, like our muscles, the more we practice the better our ability to be organized is. Here are 4 tips to help your household become more organized:
Designate a Space
Try to find an area that has good lighting, whether it's natural sunlight or a lamp that won’t strain eyes.
Find a space that is comfortable, but not too comfortable (like your child’s bed) as it might make it harder for them to concentrate. Our body associates beds with sleeping, and you might find that your child falls asleep during a “boring” part of the lesson plan.
Have this space be free of distractions (television, siblings) and as quiet as possible for your family’s circumstances.
Have your child pick out a couple of things that will help make their designated area their own (pictures, an accessory organizer, favorite figurines).
If this study space is multi-use (kitchen table, bedroom, or living room) have a basket to store materials in when school hours are done to help reduce disorganization.
Set Up Materials
Most children will become distracted when they don’t have the materials they need easily at hand. Use their backpack or a small caddy to keep their writing utensils, extra paper, art supplies and chargers for technology easily available.
Give your child headphones to help block out noise from other rooms in your home. Even though they might not have a microphone, simple headphones from a dollar store can really help a student concentrate and reduce distraction.
Have snacks and water accessible to help your child take care of any hunger distractions.
Setting a Routine
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to setting a routine for the school day. Talk to your child’s teacher and ask them for a copy of their schedule if they haven’t provided one already.
Print out that school schedule or make your own visual to support your child in getting used to their new school day routine. Using a page protector can allow you to use a clothes pin or other “flag” to help keep track of what part of the day they should be focused on.
Try to add a few breaks into the schedule, so your child can take time to have a snack, use the restroom and get out all of their energy. I will be discussing additional tips on how to set up routines for before and after school in the next post.
Depending on your child’s needs, you might have to designate an adult or older child to periodically check in often on your little learner.
Whether it’s getting used to technology, problem solving internet issues or an issue with the material, having someone accessible can help both you and your child feel like you are on track with the lesson plan.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to email your child’s teacher and ask for guidance and support!