The recent pandemic has pushed different states in Australia to create lockdown restrictions. And while some states, like Melbourne, are easing restrictions, it’s still dangerous for people from other households to gather. The country still has more than 20,000 active COVID-19 cases, and that number is growing slightly. There’s no definite cure or vaccine for it yet. And its effects range from no symptoms to severe respiratory issues. As such, schools are letting students stay at home and learn online.
The Boon of Online Learning
At first glance, it’s advantageous for you and your kid because they don’t have to help them get up and get ready for school early. There’s no bus to catch. All they have to do is boot up the computer, load up Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet, and be in class like normal. Homework and tests are all digital.
Students retain up around 25 to 60 percent more learning material during online classes. This is compared to the measly 10% retention in a classroom. Remote learning is useful for some students because it’s faster and easier to learn. Students can go back and reread materials at their own pace.
The Pitfalls of Online Learning
However, the advantages of online learning also depend on the child and the household they’re in. It’s recommended that kids, especially younger ones, attend online classes in a structured environment. This is because they can be easily distracted by what’s going on around your home. Even the muffled sound of a TV in another room can break their focus.
Set Your Child Up for Success
It’s essential to create a space that your kid can be comfortable in to put all their attention and energy into learning. Here’s how to make the perfect online learning setup for your child.
Find a Distraction-free Space
Even if your child has a desk in their room, it shouldn’t be where they study. For one, it’s easy to get distracted, as their room has all their toys and gadgets. Not to mention the bed where they can easily fall asleep while doing their online schoolwork. Plus, you don’t want your kid to associate their room with schoolwork. It should be a place where they relax and unwind.
If possible, assign a space in your living room for them to study in. Keep the television off and keep the space clear of any distractions. This way, they’ll have a different mindset every time they go to that side of the house. Even if it is a distraction-free space, you should still be involved in your kid’s learning. Make sure that you’re still close by to help if your kid has any questions or runs into any technical issues.
Invest in High-quality Chairs and Desks
Your kid is going to spend hours in front of their computer for their online schoolwork. Sitting in an awkward position all day can lead to discomfort and possible pain for their back, neck, legs, and even hands.
Avoid these issues by getting your kid an ergonomic and adjustable chair. Suppliers like Office Line recommend getting the motion executive chair, which features lumbar support and adjustable height. Experts recommend a height that keeps your kids’ legs at a 90-degree angle, with their thighs parallel to the floor. Ideally, their feet should be flat on the ground. But if this isn’t possible, get them a small stool or a stack of old books to use as a footrest.
As for the desk, ensure that your kid has enough room to move their legs around. Get a table with cable management holes, too. This way your kid’s desk stays tidy and less distracting. If possible, lay down a cloth desk pad so that they don’t rest their wrists on the sharp edges of the table.
Get Ergonomic Peripherals
Apart from the chair and desk, your kid interacts with the keyboard and mouse for most of their online class hours. However, normal laptop and desktop peripherals aren’t necessarily designed with ergonomics in mind. Hours of typing and mouse use can lead to discomfort and pain. Over time, it can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome.
Minimize these issues by getting them ergonomic keyboard and mice, like Microsoft’s Sculpt peripherals. Its keyboard is tented and curved according to the natural shape of the hand. The mouse is also tilted slightly vertically to encourage a more natural posture for the hand, wrist, and forearm. Affordable alternatives to these peripherals include the Perixx Periboard-512 keyboard and the Anker wireless vertical mouse
If you want your kid to get the most out of their online classes, you need to give them a comfortable yet distraction-free setup. A dedicated space, a high-quality chair and desk, and an ergonomic mouse and keyboard all help your kid stay focused on their studies. The money and effort you spend on their setup are well worth it when you see them learning just like they’re in the classroom.