These online learning tips will help parents prepare for a successful school year, even if it is virtual.

By Karina Zaiets and Janet Loehrke, USA TODAY

Many of the nation’s largest school districts plan to begin the fall semester online-only. As schools consider reopening, children face a future in which online courses will probably be part of the curriculum. To make the best of this situation, here are some tips to help your child adapt to learning from home.

Studies show that in online learning, parents often take on the role of a teacher. Making school a priority will help keep kids from treating online learning as a vacation. 

Research suggests that some types of parental participation have a greater impact on children’s academic achievement than others. One analysis showed that schoolchildren benefit from discussions about learning and school-related issues with their parents and from joint readings. 

Reduce distractions

A report in 2016 found that students spent about one-fifth of class time on laptops, smartphones and tablets, knowing that doing so could harm their grades. They check these devices for “non-class purposes” 11.43 times a day on average. The majority said they do so to stay connected and to fight boredom. In virtual learning, this behavior might be even more common. Social media and web surfing may hurt students’ performance, as multiple studies show. 

It might be a good idea to limit the use of the devices until the schoolwork is done. Some students may need an adult to check on them.

The surrounding environment can be a big distraction, too. Having favorite toys around can make it harder for the kid to focus. Consider setting up a quiet, clutter-free workspace that is comfortable for your child.

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