A new study shows that students who are learning completely remote are more stressed out than their peers who are learning in the classroom. While remote learning can negatively impact motivation, engagement, and curiosity—there are ways to help stressed out students.
Emily Green, author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World, suggests 5 things that parents can proactively do at home to help their kids better manage the challenges of the disruption of school, and for some, the partial return to in-person learning.
As she writes in School, Disrupted, parents can help to uplift and inspire their kids by trying these things, which will also help teachers!
1. Make sure your child has free time/down time every day.
This is necessary to activate an important brain network called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Scientists know that the DMN is intricately tied to curiosity, creativity, and imagination which can help boost engagement and motivation in these challenging times.
2. Curate their curiosity.
Asking questions stimulates curiosity, which is directly tied to engagement and joy in learning. Parents can help jostle our children out of the “circle the correct choice” mindset and make way for open-ended questions that are vital to learning. As parents, we can be too quick to provide advice, opinions, and answers. To foster curiosity, try to hold back, ask questions, and listen. In an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Susan Engel of Williams College argues for the promotion of curiosity in schools, calling for a “shift in the way we see the traditional role of a teacher, from one who answers questions to one who elicits them.” Let this be your guiding principle; eliciting questions will uncover a treasure trove of curiosity.