4 tips to help families adjust to virtual learning
COVID-19 has pushed many schools to opt for virtual learning. While some children thrive in a virtual learning environment, there are many that struggle. Pediatrician Deborah Greenhouse, MD, shared some tips to help children and parents who are adjusting to this new normal.
What are children and families struggling with when it comes to virtual learning?
“Some children who are learning virtually are managing to get good grades, get their work completed and make academic progress,” said Dr. Greenhouse. “However, there are others who are struggling and are unhappy.”
She said many of these struggles include:
- Having no help or support at home.
- Feeling socially isolated.
- Finding the technical aspects difficult to manage.
- Feeling even more stressed and anxious.
What can children do to combat stress and anxiety caused by virtual learning?
Dr. Greenhouse said these simple changes can help make a big difference.
- Give yourself some grace. Both kids and parents need to give themselves some grace during virtual learning. It is not going to be the perfect school year, and that is okay.
- Get moving. Take breaks from the computer throughout the day to walk around or stretch. Move your arms around to avoid arm and wrist pain. And make time for exercise. Take a family walk and get some fresh air or put on some music in the family room and dance.
- Eat well. Make an effort to eat healthy balanced meals. Try to not constantly snack throughout the day while in front of the computer.
- Practice healthy sleep habits. Have a bedtime routine, as well as regular times you go to bed and wake up.
How is virtual learning impacting children with special healthcare needs?
“Children with special healthcare needs are a diverse and special population, and those children are simply not doing well with virtual learning,” said Dr. Greenhouse.
Some children with special healthcare needs – like ADHD – may be able to function fairly well while learning virtually with simple modifications and a quiet environment. However, others with significant developmental delays and physical needs really require much more. Their individual education plans are not able to be met with virtual learning. They are unable to sit and attend to a screen to learn.
“That is where we need to focus our efforts – how do we get those kids back in school for in-person education where they can get the interaction they need,” said Dr. Greenhouse.
Where do we go from here?
Consistently practicing social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene can help us stop the spread of COVID-19 and help get our kids back to in-person schooling.
“We need to work together as a community. Once we do these very simple things, we will decrease the spread of the disease,” said Dr. Greenhouse. “The ultimate end game is having all schools back open long-term.”
Worried you have coronavirus?
Use an eVisit for for quick, convenient care. Just go online, answer questions about your symptoms and submit.Get Care Now