Tips for Successful Distance Learning
Create a Learning Space
A dedicated learning space for distance learning should ideally be located in a shared area of your home such as at the kitchen table, a large kitchen counter, or a desk in a living room or family room. When your student's learning space is separate from their bedroom and distanced from the television, it sets the expectation and tone that the space is for work and not play.
Ideally, this space should have:
- A computer, Chromebook or other device;
- Good lighting; and
- Ready access to learning materials and tools.
Establish a Routine
Sustained periods of virtual education are successful when students have a routine to follow and a space in which to work and learn. As you consider how to support your child's online learning, be clear about the time of day they are expected to do work, and the extent of the assignments your student will be asked to complete. If you're not sure, ask your child's teacher(s). Once you have an idea about daily time commitments, plan a schedule for your child to follow. Stick to as predictable a daily routine as possible. Don't forget to include times for breaks and lunch.
Set Expectations for Time
We know that all student and families are different; therefore, schedules will look different for each student and family. The more time your student spends learning virtually, the more you and your student will know about what works best in terms of keeping focused, on task, and engaged in meaningful academic endeavors.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and other districts who have experience with distance learning have recommended amounts of time that students at various ages should be expected to spend each day on learning activities at home. Below is a list of the maximum time students should spend daily on their activities.
- K-2: 1-2 hours of learning activities.
- 3-4: 2 hours 10 minutes
- 5-6: 3 hours 15 minutes
- 7-8: 4 hours 55 minutes
- 9-12: 5 hours 30 minutes
Be sure to schedule breaks for healthy snacks, movement, and relaxing. Research shows that a typical teen or adult is most productive when spending about 40-50 minutes focusing on a task, then taking a 10-15 minute break.