Updated: September 13, 2023
By Risheek Priyadarshi, Pretzel Kids content writer
Now that fall is in full swing, so is back to school! Whether your kids go to public school, private school, a micro school or homeschool, they may do some or all of their schooling remotely.
And, believe it or not, remote learning can be fun for kids of all ages!
Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, here are some fun back to school ideas for remote learners, as well as our top 5 ways to navigate remote learning during the 2022 school year.
1. How to Make remote learning Work
Thinking about remote learning? Here are some tips to help ensure a smooth transition from a more traditional school to homeschooling.
Organization is one of the first and most important ideas to keep in mind when approaching remote learning. As a teacher, staying on top of lesson plans, homework assignments, and grading has never been more important than now. For parents, staying organized can mean checking in with your child every day after school to see what they learned and what work they have to complete.
Have a designated spot where you or the kids attend virtual classes
This place should preferably be a study table where distractions are less likely. The brain can associate a bed or sofa with sleep and lounging around, so the study space should be the exact opposite of that.
Practice using technology
Technological difficulties are almost unavoidable; however, you can still work around or even fix them if you do a practice run the night before you have to work with that new technology.
Move around, especially during a break
Keeping the blood flowing is a great way to stay engaged in what you’re doing, whether you’re a student, a teacher, or a parent. One option is to practice yoga during the school day, which we will dive into further in the article.
The brain often needs electrolytes after demanding activities, such as learning or teaching. Keeping snacks around can help immensely – they both motivate you and keep you well-nourished!
2. Can remote learning work?
Absolutely! While some studies have shown that remote learning has led to students falling behind, remote learning is a highly effective way to educate kids.
3. How to improve remote learning
As a teacher or parent, you should try to help foster relationships among students. Experts say that the social aspect of in-person learning is what students miss most about school. But, if you encourage discussion and plan bonding activities with the students – on and off the screens – the entire experience can be even more enjoyable.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should try to replicate an in-person school environment. Asking students to watch videos or download different apps can become tedious, especially if the students do not have a reliable Internet connection. By keeping it simple and asking them to complete assignments only from one website or app can help them stay organized.
All told, keep things fun! Incorporating yoga games for kids and other activities that bolster creativity is a fantastic way of spicing things up in an educational environment. This gives children a reason to look forward to class everyday and keeps them excited.
4. How to engage with students remotely
Let the students talk! Kids have a lot on their minds lately and letting them voice their emotions, feelings, and thoughts can be a helpful way of letting them be heard. In turn, they will feel more engaged with learning.
If nobody wants to speak up, it helps to have a couple of relevant topics at hand to bring up that will spark interest and discussion. For example, try asking the students these questions as ice-breakers:
- What did you do this weekend?
- Are you looking forward to anything coming up?
- What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- What do you do for fun outside of school?
Additionally, you can have educational discussions where you ask them what they think about a particular topic you are teaching. This can help make questions more organic; if they feel like they won’t be judged for asking, they’ll be more likely to bring up questions they have instead of remaining confused.
Last but certainly not least, try to keep it fun and lighthearted at times! This can be done through yoga games, and games like Kahoot in which they learn and can have a fun time competing against each other. Stress relief is also key in keeping things fun, so introducing online yoga can be the perfect way to introduce mindfulness and lower stress.
5. Will remote learning continue?
Answering this question is a little complicated; the short answer is both yes and no. Although attending in-person classes depends on a variety of factors such as state laws, education department ordinances, and personal preferences of families, remote learning is likely here to stay.
Back to School Ideas for Remote Learners
Getting to know each other is the crux of every back to school activity. You and the students can put together small pamphlets or worksheets that detail different hobbies, interests, fun facts, and quirks about everyone. This can be a fun way to get to know each other.
In the spirit of embracing virtual learning, a fun project can also be to decorate virtual backgrounds! Canva is a free and easy to use website that lets users create whatever virtual design they want. Although creating a background sounds challenging, the kids will have no trouble if you walk them through the process step by step.
Also, you can get creative with themed seasonal or holiday activities. For example, in October, you know what that means: Halloween! Yup, you can have a blast with all things spooky and Halloween-related. Creating fun arts and crafts decorations for this holiday is the perfect way to get in the spirit and keep kids engaged. Additionally, you can brainstorm Halloween costume ideas or ask students to describe who they want to dress up as and how they will achieve their awesome look. Then, they can share photos dressed up in their Halloween costumes after the festivities are over.
You can even ask the kids to wear their costumes on Halloween, if the date falls on a school day. Why not?
And here’s one more pro tip: Have the kids get up and practice these fun Halloween yoga poses for kids!
How to Incorporate Yoga into a Remote Learning Day
It’s up to the parents and teachers to help keep kids moving and not glued to screens all day long. If your child does not like playing outdoors or if the weather does not permit it, yoga is the perfect way to keep kids moving in between classes or after their school day ends!
There are some different ways to get started with incorporating yoga into the school day. Here are our top two pro tips:
1. You can personally become a certified yoga teacher with online training
This way you can both practice yoga virtually and stream it to the kids so they can follow along.
Here are some of our top tips on how to teach yoga for kids!
2. Do yoga with kids just for fun
You don’t need to be a certified yoga teacher to learn some beginner poses for kids. Some of the best yoga poses for kids include child’s pose, mountain pose, and easy seated pose. The best part? These asanas are super easy to learn and fun to do! Kids and adults can master them in no time.
The most important thing is to practice and do yoga with kids.
Are You Ready for a Successful School Year?
Now that you’ve learned our top tips for remote learning success, you and your kids should be more prepared. Remember: get creative with new ways to inspire and engage kids in the learning process.
And, if your kids do return to in-person classes, you can also use this remote learning advice for online enrichment classes or for when children are at their computers doing homework. One thing is for sure: technology and screens are here to stay. It’s just a matter of learning how to balance screen time with yoga, movement, and other enrichment activities!
As we like to say, Just Breathe! You’ve got this!?
Risheek Priyadarshi is a contributing writer for Pretzel Kids. He recently graduated from Santa Clara University after studying economics, math, and computer science. His hobbies include a rekindled passion for yoga, running, boxing, and reading!