Right now, millions of students (and teachers) are adjusting to remote learning. Learning from home can be challenging for students. It’s tough sharing space with siblings and other family members, self-scheduling, and just getting used to “going to school” at home. Following are some tips and strategies to help students manage their time. 
Stick with a routine that’s similar to their old school routine. Remind students of the basics: 
  • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day. 
  • Dress in regular clothes, not sweats or PJs. 
  • Eat nutritious meals and snacks. Junk food—food with loads of sugar and processed carbs—makes it hard to concentrate. 
  • Schedule some exercise into every day. Even just a walk is good for your body and mind! 
For most schools, lessons are online, accessible from a class site, in video chats, or through email. Remind Students to follow these rules: 
  • Practice digital etiquette. Respect everyone online just as you would in person. It’s easy sometimes to forget that jokes or small comments can come off very different online. 
  • Learn new skills, such as clicking mute when you’re not speaking to cut down on noise. Make sure you know how to manage your camera, so you can see and connect to everyone. 
  • Dress appropriately when in a synchronous, or “live” class.
  • Be familiar with any new software, app, or program before a class begins, so you are comfortable when it’s time for class. And ask for help if you need it! 
Even if students need to get a little creative, a quiet work space is key for learning effectively. Share these ideas with students:
  • Store all school supplies in one area so you don’t have to search during class time.  
  • Construct a quiet area for learning. If you have to share the space, get in the habit of arranging your materials in the same spot or the same way every day. 
  • Create a schedule to share a laptop, workspace, or supplies with other members of the household as needed. 
  • Use headphones to reduce distractions. 
Schedules are very important, especially when students don’t have the in-person classroom routine set up for them.  Here are some scheduling tips:
  • Divide the school hours into short chunks. Write major projects and assignments on a sticky note and assign them to a calendar chunk.
  • Schedule the most challenging  projects for the morning when well-rested from a night’s sleep. Afternoons are better for reading or creative work. 
  • Break down big assignments into smaller tasks, determine how long each will take, and put those in the schedule, too. Then just take it one small step at a time. 
  • Be sure to schedule breaks, too! Taking some time away from the screen to stretch, rest, exercise, go outside, have a snack, etc. helps with productivity.  
Keeping the lines of communication open with your students can be challenging when distance learning, but it’s more important than ever. Make sure students know they can always ask for help about anything from class assignments and scheduling to accessing materials, and more.  It’s important they feel comfortable.. And remember, we’re all in this together!