In recent years, online education has become more and more common around the world with a bunch of resources and activities just a click away.
However, online lessons aren’t all fun and games. For starters, many kids are reluctant to learn at home without their school friends around. Also, the familiar routine their teacher starts the class with is missing. Not to mention, one can hardly get in the mood for learning when the environment looks nothing like a classroom.
We’ve prepared some tips that will help make your child’s online studies more effective and enjoyable. These work best for young learners to the age of 10-11.
Explain The Benefits
Kids are smart. They’re not going to do extra work for no reason, so you’ll want to explain what’s in it for them.
You can start by first telling them that online lessons are short and won’t take much time away from their favorite activities. And since they won’t have to get out of their house to have the lesson, they won’t have to go out during bad weather!
Mention that they can use toys and games in their new online classes and that some of their school friends are doing so as well. This will make them feel less isolated or “different.”
And lastly, they are at home, which is where they are the most comfortable and in control. So they can:
- customize their study area as they wish;
- have access to everything they want (such as toys and puppets they might need to use in the classes;
- enjoy a nice snack right after the lessons;
- go out and play as soon as the lesson ends.
Prepare The Environment
Take some time to figure out the best corner of your house for online lessons. Make sure the child is far from distractions such as loud TVs, a playful dog, or noisy kitchen appliances.
Try to make the working environment as comfortable as you can. If possible, it’s a good idea to alternate between a standing desk and a low desk with a colorful floor seat.
Feel free to give the room a theme. If your child likes Harry Potter you can decorate their space so it looks like something out of J.K. Rowling’s books.
Set Up The Mood For The Lessons
Make the lessons seem like a fun activity. Start by preparing a colorful timetable together with your kid.
You can also prepare checklists and reward systems. Rewards can be a great incentive, as long as they’re not overused. You can set up a board where you place smiley faces for every English lesson completed. After they win 15 smiley faces, they get a secret gift. The gifts can be educational, such as an English story book, a coloring book, legos, etc.
Kids like games so you can make one out of their tasks. As the National Association for the Education of Young Children puts it, “Development advances when children ... experience a challenge just beyond the level of their present mastery.”
For example, write different challenges on small pieces of colored paper and place them in a jar. Have your kid pick one every week. The challenges could be something like "learn a song in English this week” or “finish your English homework in under an hour.”
Double Check Everything
Make sure they have everything they need at hand. This includes their textbooks, notebooks, pencils, whiteboard, markers, etc.
For language lessons, toys and puppets will come in handy. They can be used as characters during stories and role-playing activities and also provide a sense of comfort and safety.
Remember to also make sure that video and audio settings are properly configured before every lesson. Technology is sometimes unpredictable and even minor software updates can cause unexpected problems and make your kid lose interest.
Finally, Check In With Them
Congrats! Your kid is now ready for their online lesson. But your job isn’t done yet. Take a look to make sure your child is still focused on the lesson from time to time. And if they are very young, they might need a lot of guidance with the device they’ll be using for the class.
Afterwards, be sure to ask them how the lesson went. Check their homework and see what they learned. You can do this in a fun, casual way by playing a game or asking them to teach you English – kids love being teachers themselves!
And don’t forget to check in with teachers as well. You can do so by reading their reports on your child’s learning and performance. It’s important to be up to date with the materials the teachers are planning to use, and know what you can do to aid your kid’s learning process (i.e. bring props and puppets to the lessons).
Here are all the tips mentioned for making online English lessons more enjoyable for your little ones:
- Explain the benefits of online English learning
- Make the environment more conducive to learning and comfortable
- Get them in the mood for lessons
- Double check to make sure they have all they need
- Check in with them from time to time
And if you are looking for professional online tutors, at Engoo, online education is in our DNA. Our tutors have years of experience making online lessons a blast for kids, and we have learning materials for the little ones, too. You will find English tutors available 24/7. With us, kids enjoy learning English, so feel free to give it a try with a free lesson!