Online education has become a popular alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schools, allowing children to learn anywhere, at any time. Online schools offer a range of curricula and courses and enable students to learn at their own pace. They also provide access to education for children in remote or underserved areas, who may not have the same opportunities as their peers in traditional schools.
The transition to online learning can be rewarding for children and parents alike.
Here are ten ways to prepare your child for the transition to an online school with support from Kidato teachers, including tips on setting up a dedicated workspace, establishing a routine, encouraging independence, communicating with teachers and more.
- Set up a designated workspace for your child: Having a dedicated space to work and study will help them stay focused and organized. This can be a corner of their bedroom, a desk in the living room, or any quiet space where they can work without distractions.
- Establish a routine: A consistent routine for your child can help them stay on track and maintain a sense of normalcy. This can include specific times for waking up, eating meals, and starting and finishing schoolwork. Each Kidato student uses a calendar to manage their class schedules from day one; it doubles up as an effective tool to prepare them for the workplace.
- Encourage independence: Online learning requires a certain level of autonomy and self-motivation. Encourage your child to take responsibility for their learning by setting goals and deadlines for themselves. At Kidato, we built behavioural mechanisms. Students earn merits for keeping time, submitting assignments on time and being helpful to other students.
- Communicate with your child’s teacher: Maintaining an open line of communication with your child’s teacher is essential. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss your child’s progress and address any concerns or issues that may arise. At Kidato, parents get diary and assignment updates for every lesson taken and schedule parent-teacher consultations (PTC) once a term or on request.
- Encourage participation: Teachers at Kidato School encourage students to participate actively in online class discussions and activities. With small class sizes of 5 - 8 students, this helps them feel more engaged with the material and their peers.
- Keep in mind their social and emotional well-being: Online learning can be isolating and affect your child's mental and emotional well-being. Encourage your child to interact with their classmates and friends through virtual means such as video chat, group chats, and more.
- Ensure your child has all the necessary equipment and software: Ensure that your child has access to a reliable computer, internet, and any essential software or apps for their classes. Kidato provides a free laptop to every student; our laptops are preinstalled with software that tutors can control and shut down any tabs remotely to ensure no distractions during class.
- Monitor their screen time: We encourage parents to set clear boundaries for their child’s screen time. Schedule regular daily breaks for physical activity, recreation and non-screen-related activities are encouraged at Kidato.
- Encourage self-care: It's essential to encourage your child to take care of their mental and physical health. At Kidato, we encourage them to take 15 mins breaks between lessons and engage them in stretching, pushups and other exercises.
- Be supportive: Transitioning to online learning can be a wonderful experience for you and your child. You will find teachers at Kidato supportive, understanding and flexible. Remember that adjusting to any new way of learning might take some time to find the best rhythm for your family. At Kidato, this usually takes 14 school days.
The transition to online learning can be challenging for children and parents alike. However, by setting up a dedicated workspace, establishing a routine, encouraging independence, communicating with teachers, participating in online activities, addressing social and emotional well-being, ensuring access to necessary equipment, monitoring screen time, encouraging self-care and being supportive, you can help your child adjust to online learning and succeed academically.