Kids are complicated. Being one, I should know. We enjoy things we say we hate, hate things we say we enjoy, and use the phrase “boring” in almost every sentence. It can be exhausting. If you are a parent, you probably know what I’m talking about.
You most likely came to this post looking for tips to keep your kid engaged with their remote learning. First off, I’d like to give you my condolences. Being stuck with your kid, filling in the role of a teacher, while having to balance all the other stuff you do? That’s a nightmare. I have a few tips, however, to try and keep you sane.
Tip number one: Use extrinsic rewards. Even now, in my teens, I use small rewards I give myself to keep me motivated. What does this mean for you? Offer them sparse, small rewards for doing large tasks. That way you are hands off for longer amounts of time, and keep your kids from being spoiled with treats. These rewards can range from a sweet snack, to an episode of their favorite tv show, or even just a ten to fifteen minute break.
Tip number two: Try to avoid teaching them yourself. This is a rabbit hole many parents fall into. Studies have shown that when a parent tries to teach their kid, the results include fights, tears, and anger on both sides. What’s the alternative? Peer to peer. Try to get a friend, sibling, or even a peer tutor to help them with whatever subject they are struggling with. Just remember, stay away from helping them yourself.
Tip number three: Use games. This one is a risky strategy. If you have a kid who likes video games, use that to your advantage. There are plenty of websites like mathgames.com, that gamify learning. There are possible downsides, like distraction, that make this tip iffy. If the above two fails, turn to this. Otherwise make sure they have someone watching what they are doing.
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