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Best Practices to Make Distance Learning Easier for Kids

Virtual learning is becoming the norm due to our current health crisis. Most schools have partially or fully transitioned to a distance learning setting as most American kids are now learning from home or in a hybrid setting. While it may take time for the kids to adjust, it also poses a challenge for teachers who have only taught in a classroom. Many teachers are left wondering how to make distance learning enjoyable and easy for themselves and their students. 

How to Make Distance Learning Easier for Kids

It takes a lot of creativity and skill to keep students stimulated and focused on schoolwork when they are not in a structured school setting. The following are the best practices teachers can use to make distance learning easier and more enjoyable for kids.

Be Professional

Just as if you were in a classroom, teachers should look presentable and neat even though students only see you via a webcam. The background you are presenting in front of should be clean and free from distractions. This will inspire respect from your students and minimize surrounding distractions during the lesson. Also, ensure your internet connection is secure and reliable. You don't want to lose your momentum of teaching to a faulty connection.

Present content in an organized manner and use easy to read slides or high-quality videos. Try to mix up the tempo of your teaching sessions to avoid boring your students. Practice and try out different animations of your voice when telling stories, explaining a concept, or giving instructions. You will be amazed by how much of a difference this simple trick can make when engaging your students. 

Try to be as engaging as you can with your students; act as if you were in the classroom. If you are genuine in your teaching, your students will notice. Students will have more respect for you and be more involved in the class if they see you enjoying your job and doing it well.

Break the Lesson Down into Smaller Chunks

To keep students engaged in distance learning, try breaking down your lesson into more manageable pieces. The last thing you want is to have your students sit and listen for extended durations and lose interest along the way. One crucial aspect of online teaching is timing. The idea is to keep the children engaged and focused on two things, you and what you are teaching. 

Break down the lesson into a variety of activities. Maintain a fast pace and deliver the information in small digestible chunks. Avoid any lengthy explanations or resources with unnecessary text. Assigning such mundane tasks makes things harder for the students as they try to process all the information at once.

Develop Creative Lessons

In classroom-based teaching, it is typical for teachers to give students time to work quietly on assigned tasks. In online teaching, this is frowned upon. Any extended span of silence will be a good excuse for students to shift their attention to other distractions readily available to them. 

To ensure that your students are actively engaged in the virtual lesson, come up with activities that involve talking, typing, and clicking on their end. Include games into the lesson and ask a lot of questions during the learning session. Teachers can achieve creative lessons by using digital learning platforms with various student engagement tools like dialogue boxes and drawing tools.

Set Daily Goals with Students

To maintain a sense of purpose in your lessons, introduce short term goals to your students. This will help the kids track their progress and know exactly where they are in the day's learning process.

One simple way of reminding students of their progress is by rewarding students who work hard and complete tasks during a learning session. Another way is to recognize their efforts by offering positive feedback, points, badges, or doing other activities that your students may find appealing and fun.

Kids are sensitive to both positive and negative feedback. If you offer negative feedback, the student may shy away from engaging in your virtual classes and may even grow to dislike you. On the other hand, positive feedback will improve the child's self-confidence, and he/she will strive to achieve more in your class.

Make your Students Feel Important

When kids feel valued or part of something special, they tend to engage in the activity willingly. Unfortunately, in distance learning, students are isolated within the confines of their homes. This may be a demotivating factor, and the student may think it won't make a difference if they miss a class or do not turn in an assignment.

The best way to remedy this situation in a distance learning setting is by learning more about your students. When a new class begins, learn your students' names quickly and frequently use them throughout the lessons. Have one-on-one or group interviews so you can get to know the students better. Learn what drives them in school and see if you can apply that to your lessons. Students will engage in class more if they know someone cares that they show up each day.  

Be Mindful of your Students

Keep in mind that your students will be sitting at their computers all day attending various classes. Their attention spans may be shorter on some days than others, so be mindful of your students and know how their day is going. Be flexible enough to shift your lesson plans to fit your student's needs best.

Remind your students to stay focused and encourage them with breaks throughout the lesson. Students do not get to go to recess or interact with their friends at lunch, so they will crave human interactions and time away from their computers. Know they are trying their best to please their parents, teachers, and themselves as they learn virtually.


Virtual education has been a considerable change for students and teachers alike. It is up to teachers to keep kids encouraged and engaged while teaching from a distance. With a little bit more effort, you can make distance learning easier on your students. 

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