Have you delved into the world of virtual learning before or this is a first-time experience for you and your children? Now is a good time to consider a few health hacks as remote learning continues to grow.
With this global pandemic, fewer schools are offering in-classroom instruction. This new learning style will have an impact on your kids—particularly their health. Read on to discover a few fun ways you can protect kids’ health in this virtual learning world.
Virtual Learning And Blue Light
During these unprecedented times, virtual learning means clocking in many more hours of screen time per day. In fact, the need to maintain social distance and minimize contact has children all over the world in virtual learning.
Having the unique opportunity to learn outside the classroom is great and will always be remembered. However, the harmful effects that blue light emissions from screens could be having on your child’s eyes can be problematic.
Blue light is high-energy rays that can have negative side effects with excess exposure. These include:
- Difficulty falling asleep at night
- Digital strain on the eyes
- Headaches or migraines.
Health hack: There are specific blue-light glasses with special lenses that can help the eye filter this light. In fact, it is very difficult for our eyes to do this on their own.
Reducing blue light rays helps with eye fatigue during a long day in front of a computer. With all our children in virtual learning and then on phones and tablets, this is vital.
Furthermore, putting the glasses on can be a fun way to signal when it’s time to focus on schoolwork.
Posture is Important in Virtual Learning
Have you set aside a specific space in the house for virtual school? Or, are you simply sitting the kids at the kitchen table? Wherever their learning space is, it’s important to encourage your children to have good posture.
Poor posture from sitting in a chair for hours can cause neck and back pain. With virtual learning being the norm, there is no longer movement between classrooms. This means, children may be seated for longer periods of time. This is especially true of older children who may get “caught up” in what they are doing and forget the time.
Good posture actually has many positive effects. Including, reducing stress and driving productivity.
Health hack: Sit your child in a chair that has both back and arm support. Ensure they sit back in the chair to naturally promote better posture.
Similarly, placing the screen at least 20 inches away from the face at eye level will help reduce tension in the back and neck.
Promoting good posture will help your kids succeed in this virtual learning environment.
Talk About Their Mental Health
It’s no secret that these have been challenging times for many families, and children are no exception. From limited social gatherings to removing the everyday routines they once had at school. Indeed, our kids are suffering mentally as a result of missing going to school.
In fact, research has shown that anxiety and depressive symptoms can be a result of pandemic circumstances.
Health hack: It is always wise to have open and honest conversations with your children. With virtual learning, this is important regarding their mental health and how they are adjusting to not being in the classroom.
Ensure they take regular study breaks and get away from screens. Encourage, motivate and support them as learning online can be challenging. This may cause extra stress to all children, but especially adolescents.
Virtual Learning May Encourage Bad Habits
Learning from home means there is minimal time between getting out of bed and stepping into your home school space. In fact, it is likely the only real interaction your child will have during their school day is with family members.
This can lead to students falling into poor hygiene habits and disregarding typical everyday routines. With virtual learning, brushing their teeth or combing their hair may become less important. Not having interaction with peers may allow our kids to become “sloppy”.
Health hack: Create a checklist of activities to be completed before school starts. Include, making the bed, washing your face and brushing your hair before breakfast.
Try brushing your teeth with your kids to provide accountability for you both.
Doing these may bring them a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times. Getting ready for the day, even for a virtual learning class, can help jumpstart your children’s day and get them ready to fly.
Provide a Quiet Workplace
Having multiple children learn from home while you are also working remotely can be quite a challenge. It can be extremely difficult to create a quiet workplace that accommodates everyone in the household.
While traditional classroom instruction means following teachers’ orders, at home it can be harder to establish rules during virtual learning.
Health hack: Consider investing in headphones, or more specifically, noise-canceling headphones. These will help your children tune in more efficiently to their online instruction.
In fact, using headphones allows multiple children to complete work effectively within a smaller space. Blocking outside noise can increase concentration and remove some of the frustration from learning at home.
Computer/IT/Technology guy! He helps out with all the backend stuff as well as writing some cool articles about technology and kids. He is super passionate about using technology to help our lives and teaching parents about technology safety. He is a father to 2 young girls and is the coolest girl dad we have ever met (ask him his favourite dress up – we dare you!).