Adapting to remote school is difficult. 76% of students report being in lower spirits than before the pandemic, and more than 8 in 10 parents are struggling to keep their children engaged. Teachers are worried too - concerned the learning adjustment will place academic challeneges upon their students. However, when learning is fun, it's easy to get kids engaged. Here's how educators and parents can work together so students can still learn and thrive.

1. Turn Off Tech Distractions

You child likely needs access to technology to complete eSchool. However, technology can be as distracting as resourceful. Turning on "do not disturb" mode during class sessions and silencing - not vibrating - notifications can lessen interruptions. 

"Screen time" and "focus mode" cell phone settings can help limit distractions, as well. Screen time, an Apple iOS feature, lets users set time limits on individual apps and settings. Focus mode, an Android feature, lets users block certain apps from being used on a set schedule.

2. Share & Collaborate

Let students virtually work with each other on schoolwork to keep their class settings collaborative. This is also a great time to revive letter writing. Writing letters to friends and family is a great way to help kids stay connected while practicing valuable motor skills. Furthermore, parents who keep in touch can share ideas on what works for their children.

3. Make Learning Fun

When learning is fun, students become more engaged. There are many apps that can help with this. Bedtime Math offers a daily math problem for children ages 3-9, including a short engaging story, and a problem based on your child's age. iNaturalist offers suggestions and shares images of plants and animals for community identification, LeafSnap identifies trees using their pictures of their leaves and catalogues identification for use by researchers, and Globe Observer tracks oversevations of clouds, land cover, and tree measurements.

Getting involved in a citizen's science project that sparks your child's interest and helps scientists study nature on a larger scale can also make learning more fun. You can find citizen science projects - and search by the student's age - at SciStarter.org.

Still, there are many other ways to enhance home learning. Find more tips below.

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