First Day Learning Online? Don’t Worry!

Tips to help parents prepare for the new academic year

How to promote learning from home and engage safely with students during COVID-19
UNICEF Viet Nam\Xuan Lan
09 September 2021

This September, the start of the school year seemed more overwhelming than ever before. As schools re-opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, many first graders are welcoming their first day of school online. Helping your child transition to going to school may be a process which takes time and planning. If your family is preparing for a shift in daily routines to school schedule, here are some tips to help your child adjust and adapt to learning from home. 

1. Create a comfortable learning space

Encourage your children to tidy and clean up their learning space and make it comfortable. A tidy desk and comfortable chair can go a long way to help children be productive learners. Make sure your computer is well set-up. Adjust the distance you’re sitting from the screen (with your head roughly arm distance from the screen) and screen height (with your eyes at roughly the same level as the top of the screen), and make sure the room is well-lit.

2. Build a routine together

Learn the new rules of returning to school and go over them with your children. Plan with your children on a specific time during the day for online learning. This includes removing distractions such as TV, loud music, and toys during the learning time. Factor in play time and time for reading. Use everyday activities as learning opportunities for your children. Remember to be flexible! If your child is seeming restless and agitated when you’re trying to follow an online learning programme with them, flip to a more active option. Don’t forget to include break, play time and time for reading in your schedule.

3. Help children get to know their classmates and teachers

Many first graders lack the space to get to know their classmates and teachers. Integrating socialization time into the daily routine is crucial to establish connection. Allow time for children to interreact causally online by organizing daily chats with a friend or a group of peers. When children face challenges in online learning, encourage them to reach out to friends and teachers for support.

4. Listen to your child

Take their worries seriously and talk to them about their concerns. It is important to acknowledge the changes they may experience and encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you. Ask your child how they feel about their first week at school and try alternative activities such as drawing and storytelling to open up conversation.

5. Keep in touch with your teacher

Make sure you stay in touch with your children’s teachers and stay updated with the latest information from school. Contact teachers when you or your children face challenges with online learning. Discuss and work on plans together to address challenges. If possible, set up a specific time with teachers to discuss any difficulties such as schoolwork, technological challenges, and academic pressure.