When your child is struggling with school, it’s important to determine and address the problem as quickly as possible. Getting your learner back on track will help them stay on top of their coursework and keep working towards their goals. Here are some of the most common reasons students have trouble staying engaged in school and how you can help.
1. The Problem: Trouble Sleeping
Virtual students often spend hours in front of their computers to complete schoolwork, attend classes, and conduct research. Although technology is an essential part of the learning process, devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets emit blue light that can cause eye strain, especially when using them for hours on end. Additionally, blue light promotes performance and alertness, so while it can keep your child focused during school hours, it can make it hard to fall asleep at night.
Too much evening screen time can disrupt your child’s sleep schedule. Your child may be distracted by their phones before bed, causing them to fall asleep later or feel more energized at night by the blue light, making it harder to fall asleep. Either way, a loss of sleep can impede your child’s academic progress and affect their functioning and development.
The Solution: Limit Screen Time
Limiting screen time can significantly improve your child’s sleep schedule and quality. Although your learner needs to dedicate enough time to their studies, you can implement small changes to reduce eye strain and help them fall asleep faster.
Taking small breaks throughout the day can rejuvenate your child and ensure they’re not overdoing it on screen time. Every 20 to 30 minutes, your child should take a break from the computer and look at something far away. They can focus on a picture in the room, look out the window, or take a quick walk around the kitchen.
Either way, ensure they step away from the desk and stay away from electronics for a few seconds. You can also find blue light glasses for your child to wear during the day to combat the amount of blue light they experience while the sun is up and they are working away.
Address blue light issues at night by adjusting the filters on your child’s devices. Utilize the setting on your child’s devices to reflect the amount of blue light the sun emits. The sunrise-to-sunset feature will stop emitting blue light from your child’s phone after the sun sets, helping them fall asleep faster in the evening. Also, consider setting evening phone limits, like only allowing one to two hours of screen time after dinner and having them turn their phone off or put it away at least an hour before bedtime.
2. The Problem: Technical Issues
If your child is combatting technical issues, it can be challenging to remain fully engaged. A strong internet connection is vital during class sessions, Zoom meetings, or Google Meets gatherings. If your child’s audio or video cuts in and out, they may miss critical information about a topic or assignment.
When your child is completing an assignment or conducting research, they will need an uninterrupted connection to their applications. Consistent breaks from internet usage or slow load times between tabs can break their concentration and make it challenging to stay focused and engaged.
The Solution: Troubleshoot
The best way to combat technical issues is by troubleshooting potential problems. You should sit with your child and ensure their school tech is functioning properly. Begin by investigating the internet connection. Ensure your child’s computer or tablet has a strong connection, and consider moving the router to a more central location if these issues present a significant problem.
Other technical issues could be the fault of applications. Make sure your child has the latest version of applications like Google Chrome and other programs they need for school. You can also speed up your child’s laptop or tablet by deleting non-essential information. Remove any outdated software and delete pictures and downloads you no longer need. Your child may face other technical issues, so investigating the problem and quickly crafting a solution will be the best way to get your student back on track.
3. The Problem: Too Many Distractions
Any distraction can be a productivity killer, and your child needs focus and energy to complete their work to the best of their abilities. Children are prone to distractions, and learning from home can present new challenges. When your child is surrounded by toys, games, favorite books, and cozy napping spots, it can be easy to wander from the desk to a non-productive location.
Even your child’s computer can become a distraction when they don’t have a parent monitoring their usage. They may neglect their work to watch YouTube videos, play games, check social media, or turn on a streaming service like Netflix during the middle of the school day. Tempted by phones, tablets, and gaming consoles, children can find many fun distractions at home that pull them from their work.
The Solution: Create a Focused Learning Space
The best way to combat distractions is by creating a focused learning space. One of the first things you’ll want to do is ensure all essentials are within arm’s reach to reduce the number of times your child needs to break concentration to look for materials. You will also want to organize all the files and equipment, so your child can easily find any information they need without getting distracted by other data.
Ensure you set up shop in a good location. Dinner tables, kitchen countertops, living room desks, and other central areas can be distracting if other people are home when your student is working. A dedicated workspace can promote time management and productivity and keep your child focused while they’re learning the day away.
4. The Problem: Lack of Structure
Virtual classes offer a flexibility that traditional brick-and-mortar institutions don’t provide. The different structure benefits students and families who need to craft schedules outside typical hours. However, it can present issues for students who don’t know when to work and how long to dedicate time to studying. Your child may become disengaged because they can’t find the best time to complete their work, attend classes, and naturally blend work and play without sacrificing one.
The Solution: Support With Structure
You can create structure by practicing time management and establishing a working routine so your student knows when to tune in and get involved with deep work. If your schedule allows it, ensure your child can wake up and eat a healthy breakfast before beginning the school day. Have them attend classes or watch lessons during their most productive hours. Include time for schoolwork in the evening or afternoon and have a precise cut-off time so they can play games, read for fun, or otherwise unwind.
You may find that using timers helps your child know when to take breaks or switch to other tasks. Setting a time for each task allows you to seamlessly guide your student from one assignment to the next without facing burnout and ensuring each task gets adequate attention. This strategy can help your child recognize the importance of time management and build lifestyle habits they’ll use past graduation.
Get Engaged With Commonwealth Charter Academy
CCA is an online public charter school in Pennsylvania, and we’re dedicated to providing a unique and personalized learning experience to our students. Our online curricula align student interests and goals with their studies, so they can remain engaged and reach success in a way that’s meaningful to them.
The benefits of engaging online classes can significantly and positively impact your child’s academic experience and help them reach success. CCA offers enriching online courses to keep every student engaged and help them refine their skills and strengths. Enroll your student today to bring an engaging education to your student.