While still grappling with the effects of a stressful year, Ontario has entered the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As anticipated, some schooling systems will be returning to online-based learning. If you’re a parent of a child in primary or elementary school, the province-wide shutdown of schools might leave you feeling stressed for your kids. You are not alone. Here are some tips on keeping your kids engaged in learning.

1. Make use of token boards. Work hard play hard!girl in white shirt playing with playing cards

For young kids, it can be incredibly challenging to keep them engaged on tasks they find unammusing or difficult. When dealing with school curriculum, this poses a greater challenge. Incorporating a token economy system is a great way to keep kids motivated and goal-oriented while completing tasks. Parents can make token boards with a desired amount of school tasks that the child needs to complete. For example, for every workbook question your child completes correctly, they can add a sticker to their board. Once 5 stickers are completed, they are rewarded with a desired prize (10 minutes of their favourite movie, 10 minutes to play on an I-Pad, etc).

2. Discover your child’s learning style! 

Every child learns differently; and their unique learning styles can help optimize their performance or skill. Whether they are a visual, verbal, social, or tactile learner, the way they receive and process information will differ. Often, these differences in learning styles are not always accommodated in standardized school settings. As a parent, you can use this to your advantage during homeschooling! For example, if you know your child is a visual learner, using visuals to help aid their understanding will be beneficial. In a homeschooled setting, you can customize your child’s learning environment to make them feel most productive and keep them engaged!

Follow this link below to help determine what type of learner your child is: https://gradepowerlearning.com/what-type-learner-is-my-child/

3. Make them the teacher! 

One of the best indicators of learning is teaching what we know to others! As a parent, we can use this to help make the most of our child’s learning experience. One way to do this is to ask your kids to highlight things they have learned during their day. Whether you are creating your own learning materials, or using ones provided from their school, it can be a great way to assess their understanding of the material and keep them engaged. This task doesn’t have to be boring for them either – let them know they can get creative or artistic! They can make a poster at the end of each day demonstrating things they enjoyed learning about.

It can be overwhelming having our children home with us while we are trying to juggle our own work and keep up with all of the house responsibilities. Try to use this time to enjoy your children as much as you can. If you can’t do all of the above, don’t sweat it. All you can do is your best. And that’s enough. If you need some mental health support through this time, click here to book a free consultation with a professional.