5 Ways to Know if Your Child is Engaged Online
So your child is learning from home…now what? How can you make sure that your child is actually learning and not just scrolling social media? How can you make sure that they are actually listening to their teacher and not just tuning out? How can you make sure that they are not falling behind? All of these things can be stressful and cause a great deal of frustration for parents.
In this article we are going to give you five practical ways for you to check in on your child’s online learning and make sure that they are engaged with what they are learning.
1. Establish a family routine
Many parents think the best way to engage a child is to provide them with something new and exciting everyday, however, this has proven not to be the case. Child psychologist Dr. Paula Rauch from Harvard University encourages parents to create and maintain a predictable schedule. “When it comes to children’s emotional health, regular routine and predictable schedules are better than lots of surprises”. Now how does this relate to student engagement? Studies have shown that children that know what to expect from their day are more confident and confident children participate more in school and participation is a great start to being fully engaged.
2. Talk to your child everyday about what they are learning
This is one of the easiest ways to know if your child is actually engaged in their studies. If you want to know something about your child, the easiest way to find out is to ask. You know your child best, by asking them what they learned in school each day, you will be able to tell if they are actually engaging in their learning, heres how. If your child simply brushes you off and says “oh we learned some math and some science and that was it” ask them to elaborate. This is when you will be able to tell if they are actually engaged with what they are learning. If your child has a hard time explain to you what they were taught, there might be an engagement issue happening. By asking everyday you will be able to see the difference. On days that your child was truly engaged with their learning, they will likely be able to elaborate on what they learned much easier than if they were not engaged. This is perhaps the most simple way to monitor you child’s engagement no matter if they’re learning online at home or in person at school.
3. Be conscience of how much screen time your child is having
Screens have become an unavoidable reality. No matter if it is a tv screen, computer screen, tablet screen, or smartphone screen, screens can be found everywhere. This has its pros and cons. While we have the ability to get information at our finger tips instantly, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Screen exhaustion is very real. As any adult that has worked a 9-5 office job will tell you, at the end of the day the last thing they want to do is stare at a screen. The same goes for children. If they have stayed up all night watching videos on YouTube, the last thing they are going to want to do is watch their online class at 8:30am. It is important that you are aware of how much screen time your child has aside from school time. Once you are aware, it will be easy to take into consideration if your child might be screen fatigued before they start their online schooling.
4. Tap into your community and embrace the real world
Students spend hours a day learning about topics that they don’t always feel are relevant to them. This is one of the main factors of low engagement. When someone feels like a topic isn’t relevant to them, why would they want to engage and learn about it? Something that parents can do is show their children how things apply to them or apply to the real world.
Lets look at an example. Say your child is learning about photosynthesis, the process plants use to produce oxygen and survive. This is a topic that some children might look at and think “okay, so what? What does that have to do with me?” This is when parents can lean on their communities to help show their child how this information pertains to them. For example, maybe you take a trip to your local science museum and see the plant area and talk to experts about what would happen if plants didn’t photosynthesize.