9 tips for online learning from professional tutors

Sylvan Learning Center in east Wichita shares tips for families as kids attend school remotely.
Online learning tips
Online learning tips(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:23 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kids across the state are starting the school year learning from home. Sylvan Learning Center in east Wichita moved all lessons online through the spring. The center’s owner, Hazel Darrow, says parents can create a good learning environment at home. She has tips for families as kids attend school remotely.

  1. Set a schedule. Darrow says kids need to know the expectations. She recommends going through the schedule at the beginning of each day with your kids. Remind them what classes they have and when they have breaks. If you are working from home as well, this is the time to tell your kids when you have to attend virtual meetings and you would prefer to not be bothered unless it’s an emergency. 
  2. Take a lunch break. Have a prepared meal ready for your kids. Darrow suggests joining your kids for lunch if you are working from home or can come home. She recommends engaging them in conversation during lunchtime and asking them how their morning classes went.
  3. Get moving during breaks. If your kids have a few minutes between classes, encourage them to get up and move around a bit. If breaks are long enough, have them go outside and play. 
  4. Get your child a “school kit.” Darrow recommends having a basket or caddy that has any supplies your child will need throughout the day and keep it at their learning space. The kit can include pencils, a calculator, and chargers. This limits the times your child will need to leave the screen and miss instruction to get supplies.
  5. Limit distractions. Disable electronics so your kids cannot use them throughout the day. If you have multiple children learning from home, separate them into different spaces.
  6. Reward positive behavior. Teachers use this technique at school. Whether it’s stickers or working toward a pizza party, kids respond well to incentives. Darrow says kids can work toward ice cream after dinner or can earn time watching TV and playing video games.
  7. Their performance could decline. Remote learning won’t be an easy transition for all kids. If your child’s grades start to fall, Darrow says parents shouldn’t punish them, but instead, should find the extra help that they need. “Some kids just need another repetition of whatever they learned, so it’s not their fault. Most of the time, and parents shouldn’t chastise them for it, but try and find some help. And once again reward them for when they do it right. And if they continue to do it right and get rewarded, they’re going to try harder,” Darrow says.
  8. Their performance could improve. Darrow says kids can learn a lot remotely. She says when Sylvan shifted to an online-only format, some students performed better. “I think there’s just more concentration they have to look at this screen, they have to be, you know, eye contact with a teacher most the time,” she says. “When they’re in this environment, they might get distracted with something now that there aren’t distractions at home, but it just seems like we can get through more material when they’re online.”
  9. Schedule social time. Darrow predicts kids will miss the social interactions the most. She encourages parents to schedule playdates for their kids, whether they’re socially distant meetings in person or over video chat.

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