With so many schools going online this fall, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the pros and cons of remote learning, and also provide tips on how to overcome the challenges that may be giving you (and your child) additional stress.*
* One of which is considering a support pod for your child, which I'm excited to announce we now offer (based on huge demand!).
After scouring many articles and interviews from students' perspectives, I was alarmed by what I found:
- It is hurting my mental health and making me "feel more mentally exhausted" even though I am less active.
- I don't feel I am getting the help I need even when I ask questions over Zoom. I have "fewer resources for help."
- It's very hard to stay motivated and focused to do school work at home.
In addition, other problems with online learning include:
- Increased screen time
- Lack of socialization
- Lack of access to meals and other resources many students depend on
- Less overall structure
- Decreased physical fitness
Besides the very obvious benefit of keeping children and teachers safe, there aren't many pros to online learning (unless you count your child's likely enjoyment of sleeping later!).
It's too soon to point to evidence-based studies with conclusions on the long-term impact of remote learning, but we can implement skills and tools to help now.
Here are some ideas you might find helpful:
- Time management is often more difficult for teens feeling less motivated and focused at home. I recommend using a timer to help your child focus during periods dedicated to school work, as well for structured breaks. You can use a kitchen timer, or the Time Timer is great!
- Take active breaks specifically intended for moving your body, which can greatly improve concentration, focus, attention, and mood by boosting dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin production in the brain. You can find short workouts on YouTube, do a few yoga postures, take a walk, or try this quick little circuit to get your heart pumping: 20 jumping jacks > 20 squats > 10 pushups > repeat twice.
- Create a daily structured plan and schedule, which doesn't need to be limited only to school work. For example, wake up > breakfast > go for a walk or exercise > school/homework > break for lunch > school/homework > video chat with friends > chores > dinner > bathe > leisure/social time > read > bed.
- Consider enrolling your child into a learning or support pod to maintain a sense of normalcy and structure, provide a more hands-on learning approach, and limit screen time. Pods vary greatly so you can find one that meets your child's needs. For example, they may be led by a teacher who follows your school district's curriculum. Or they may have specific focuses, such as academic support, tutoring, socialization, fitness/wellness, college prep, and more. Pods generally consist of a small group of kids led by a teacher, tutor, coach, or parent and meet a few times per week.
At Tri-Wellness, we specialize in helping teens and adults overcome poor executive functioning skills, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disabilities. We still offer these services, but we are excited to now offer Tri-Wellness support pods.
Unlike straight academic pods that follow your child's curriculum, Tri-Wellness pods are focused on addressing remote learning challenges, such as managing school work, helping with feelings of isolation, avoiding procrastination, and maintaining good study habits.
Tri-Wellness pods will empower middle school, high school, and college students to thrive academically, socially, mentally, and physically during these unprecedented times.
Please click here to see if Tri-Wellness pods are a good fit for your child!
Have a happy, healthy day!
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