Acknowledge your accomplishment
It’s been a crazy year, but take a step back and think, “I made it this far, let’s finish strong,” said Patrick Quinn, parenting expert at Brainly, a homework help and online learning community.
“When the weather gets nicer, excitement begins to build for summer break, and the school year comes to an end; it’s easy for kids to lose focus,” he said. “Remind them they did their homework, studied, attended Zoom meetings and held up to all of their responsibilities for this long, why not do it for another month? Or two weeks? Use the summer break as motivation. Like any race, students need to persevere through the home stretch.”
Keeping up with studying is critical, but so is taking time to rest and recharge.
“Encourage kids to make time to enjoy the outdoors and activities safely, and ensure that it’s scheduled in a way that’s balanced and bookended by other activities so that they know when it’s time to return to their study,” Quinn said.
Don’t overlook the importance of sleep, which is critical for children and teens because their bodies and minds are growing, Quinn said.
“A recent survey of Brainly’s community found that 78% of high school students reported not getting enough sleep each night, with 65% saying this led to lower energy levels and constant feelings of being tired,” Quinn said.
Be there for young learners
Offering family support can help motivate and empower kids who are living and learning in unprecedented times.
“Parents need to be sensitive to the current environment and that the pandemic is a reality that’s disproportionately affecting education,” Quinn said. “Kids should wake up every day knowing that they’re tackling a challenge that no one else in their family has ever had to deal with, and that can absolutely be a source of pride for them. Let them know that you recognize that and are their support system.”
Keep it interesting by thinking about ways to “gamify” this very unusual school year, Quinn said.
“Set goals and agree on a reward structure for reaching those targets. We’re in the home stretch of this pandemic and will all be together again soon. Remind your kids of that, and how far they’ve come over the last 12 months,” he said.
“Make sure you write down everything that you have to do and determine how and when you are going to do it,” Quinn said. “That way you can plan in your free time, and time to hang out with your friends without having to worry about whether an assignment is due or a test that you have to study for is coming up.”
Check out some learning apps
Beyond Brainly, which connects students with expert peers for 24/7 homework help, Quinn suggests some other free learning apps kids and parents should have on their radar:
Tallo: Tallo matches college students with $20 billion in scholarship and award money that can be used for things like tuition, books, and room and board.
Duolingo: With an ultimate goal of giving everyone access to a private tutor experience through technology, Duolingo made online learning so fun that users would prefer to pick up a new skill rather than play a game.
Codecademy: Taking cues from modern tech innovators, Codecademy is committed to building the best experience for students to learn coding in 12 programming languages.
Kahoot!: The global learning platform on Kahoot! makes it easy for any individual or corporation to create, share and play learning games that drive engagement.