In the last year many students have been faced with the difficult task of learning virtually from home. The most immediate effects related to the pandemic involve students suffering from social isolation, distractions at home, and struggling to keep up with the pace of online learning. Not to mention those who rely on school lunches or technology find this transition to homeschooling less than favorable.
That is why it is crucial to raise awareness and increase academic retention time together. Hopeful Inc.’s S.M.A.R.T.T. Program is designed to do just that by keeping your student’s academic success in mind.
Spending More Academic Retention Time Together or (S.M.A.R.T.T.) Program aims to tackle unproductive and dissociative behaviors disadvantaged students face by supporting them with one-on-one guidance, free tutoring, mentoring, and more.
HOPEFUL Inc.’s S.M.A.R.T.T. Program offers these following tips and habits to help you and your student get the most benefits out of learning from home:
Create A Designated Learning Space
Before you begin studying it is best to find a quiet place to study inside your home or create one all on your own.
This may look different and change depending on the students needs but in general you want to find a room that is separate from your sleeping area if possible.
This study space should be brightly lit with a window or desk lamp and be easy for the student to access during their study time.
Another good habit is to plan beforehand what times you intend to use this learning space and communicate these times with others living in your household.
Letting others know when you are studying not only helps the student concentrate better but it also allows for others in the household to be aware and mindful of their noise levels.
Develop A Routine
This may be one of the hardest parts of studying but it is important that your student develops a consistent routine to create good study habits.
Consider keeping a planner in the study space where the student plans to do homework and attend online lectures or do other assignments.
Make sure the student is consistently using the study space around the same time on a weekly basis.
Acknowledge that all students have a unique way of learning and this will look different from one student who may be in elementary school to a college level student.
Some students may find it easier to schedule review sessions early in the morning before everyone in the household wakes up while others may prefer to study in the afternoon or evening.
Students will benefit from checking their email at least once a day for any updates.
Students should make sure they are checking canvas on a regular basis as well as other e-learning websites assigned with their courses.
It is common for students to check their phone occasionally while studying or interact with siblings or other household members while studying.
However, when these activities interfere with academic retention and performance it is time to reevaluate their study tactics.
Social media, shopping, videos, and games can be extremely addicting and are scientifically engineered to keep children and adults hooked for hours.
A good habit to practice for limiting distractions is turning your phone off or putting electronic devices away when studying.
Another option is to download Freedom, a website blocker designed for mac and windows which students can use to prohibit clicking on other websites to focus on what matters most.
You can find out more about Freedom here: https://freedom.to/
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Online learning is not for everybody.
You and your student do not have to struggle alone. HOPEFUL Inc.’s S.M.A.R.T.T. Program is here to help with tutoring for all ages and provide you with resources that will keep your students engaged and successful.
Asking for help can be a powerful tool if you are willing to take the first steps.
Consider tutoring as an alternative option to studying independently.
Find a time that works with your schedule and make a list of key concepts your student is having difficulty comprehending.
Speak with your student about meeting with their teacher to develop an action plan as well.
Keep track of their progress throughout the term and make note of strategies that are helpful and others that are not.
Take A Break
Lastly, be sure your student takes breaks often.
It can feel overwhelming at first to adjust to online schooling but stepping away from the thick of it all to go outside and get fresh air can be beneficial.
Take snack breaks and set a timer to encourage healthy study habits.
Ensure that your student is spacing out enough time to study for each subject individually.
Do not cram right before an exam or class meeting. This will only elevate stress and minimize long-term retention.
Instead try breaking up bigger tasks like writing an essay into smaller chunks or increments such as writing a paragraph once a day over the course of a week or reading a small section of text instead of trying to skim through several chapters at once.
Remember you and your student are not alone and hopefully these tips and resources will help guide you to building stronger habits that will make a lasting impact on your students educational needs.
eTutoring: This resource connects students with qualified tutors. Students can schedule virtual sessions or get feedback on their writing.
MindTools: This site offers tools to develop skills and help students manage their time and stress.
Open Culture: This site curates free courses, e-books, and other educational resources. It also serves as a research tool.
Khan Academy: This free resource offers video tutorials created by industry experts on various academic topics. It is a helpful site for students who want to test or expand their knowledge of course topics.
Purdue Online Writing Lab: Offered through Purdue University, this writing resource provides information about formatting, grammar, citations, style guides, and conducting research.