These last few months have brought with them a string of changes that have affected the way we conduct our day to day lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only altered our normal routine, but has also created a necessity for adapting to a “new normal.” While school systems have seen cancellations of so many special events, we have also adjusted to the new routine of virtually learning. But, like any change in life, transitions are not always smooth, and sometimes it’s difficult to get the hang of a routine shake up. If you or your child has experienced difficulty getting used to virtually learning, we have some tips to help stay on track.
Create a Routine
When our daily activities are limited to the confines of our home, it’s difficult to create and stick to a schedule. By following a routine that mimics your typical life, time spent virtually learning will become easier. This includes waking up, eating breakfast, and going to bed the same time you were a couple months ago. Making efforts to stick with a pre-quarantine routine will help keep you on track, and will make weekends feel even more rewarding.
Virtual learning has shed light on a multitude of distractions. Not only is there the presence of electronic devices and social media, but now there is also the added distraction of family members, pets, and other disturbances that normally wouldn’t be a factor at school. Limit these distractions by putting your cell phone and yourself in “Do-Not-Disturb” mode. Communicate with your family the times you need to focus, find a quiet place in your home, and get to work.
Think About Your Work Space
Some benefits of virtual learning include the opportunity to work from the comfort of your own home. While a desk is always an ideal option for a workspace, if you don’t have access to your own desk, make sure you work from a place that is a separate place from where you relax. While work from bed or your couch may be comfortable, it’s also easy to get a little too comfortable and begin to lose focus. Even sitting in a chair that you normally don’t sit in when you’re watching T.V. is enough of a change to distinguish work from relaxation. Take a moment to think about the spot in your house that is the best environment to complete your work, and then set up that station with everything you need to optimize your e-learning experience.
Use Other Materials
While laptops and other technology has become even more important during these times of virtual learning, try to bring out some of the same materials you would have on your desk at school. Instead of typing all of your notes, handwrite them into a notebook, and instead of recording assignments in your phone, write them in a planner. Using alternating methods to exercise different parts of your brain can help you maintain focus.
If you take time to settle in and focus while e-learning, then a break is well deserved. While it’s easy to have your phone next to you, or the T.V. on in the background, taking the time to fully relax once your work is complete is far more rewarding than trying to do everything at once. Set a schedule for your schoolwork, follow it, and make sure to include a reward at the end.