We’re back with more tips on how to help your child finish the school year out from home. This week, we asked one of our Occupational Therapists for some tips on how to help structure your child’s new school day. Here’s she had to say.
Set the Expectations
- Create daily, morning, or afternoon visual schedules or calendars and include e-learning subjects (math, reading, OT, PT, SLP, etc.) – Utilize pictures or words depending on the child’s reading abilities.
- Review expectations before e-learning sessions begin (i.e. whole body listening techniques, sitting quietly, keeping hands to self, staying in our seat).
- Post expectations or rules for e-learning on a wall next to the child’s e-learning space. For example, post a visual display of whole body listening techniques or hang a list of 5 rules written or created by the child.
- Discuss incentives for following the expectations/rules throughout an entire e-learning session.
Set up a Designated Environment
- Create a work space that is special for e-learning. If you can set up a particular desk or table that is only used for e-learning, this can help children set expectations and boundaries in the home setting. If a separate space is not available, utilize an “e-learning clipboard” or other materials that will make this space particularly special and unique for e-learning opportunities.
- Place all necessary materials in reach (pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, workbooks).
- Provide special writing utensils or materials that can only be used during e-learning (i.e. smelly markers, colored pencils, etc.).
- Minimize distractions. An e-learning workspace should be far from TV, toys, etc. to improve focus and attention. Position the child’s workspace in a clutter-free area with minimal visual distractions. If necessary, provide headphones to minimize auditory distractions.
Provide Opportunities for Movement
- Before an e-learning session begins, provide at least five to ten minutes of sensory opportunities for heavy work or general gross motor movement. These can include: animal walks, yoga poses, or other proprioceptive activities.
- Allow opportunities for movement during e-learning sessions (i.e. stretch breaks, chewable pencil topper, wiggle cushion, etc.)
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