How To Support Your Child's Distance Learning Journey I Oxford Open Learning
Distance Learning

How To Support Your Child’s Distance Learning Journey

There are many reasons you and your child might have decided distance learning is the best option for you both. Distance learning can offer increased flexibility, with the opportunity to work studies around home life. For children who work better with one-to-one tuition rather than in a classroom, distance learning could also help them flourish academically, with our tutors supporting your child every step of the way.

The Distance Learning Path

If you choose the distance learning path, you need to acknowledge that your child’s education will become a more significant part of your home life. Whilst our tutors will do everything they can to support your child’s success, your child might also need more support from you as they adapt to this new form of learning.

Help Them Create A Schedule And Routine

As we have already touched on, one of the best things about distance learning is the flexibility it offers, but this doesn’t mean that your child should abandon all their routines. Encourage your child to continue to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, eat regular meals, and take breaks and exercise. You might also want to help them create a timetable of what they are going to study and when, and set deadlines for assignments and academic goals. It is best to get your child as involved as possible in the whole process so that they know they have autonomy over their journey. Ask them to think about when they feel most productive, and if there is anything you can do to help keep them motivated.

Make Sure You Know When They Need Help

Whether your child has just started their journey or been distance learning for several years, it’s completely normal to have concerns about this new way of learning. To make sure your child isn’t struggling, have regular informal chats about any worries they have. Perhaps they have an upcoming assignment and don’t know where to start? Their first-point-of-contact should always be their personal tutor. Reassure your child that asking for help is never a sign of weakness – but should be encouraged whenever they feel they need it. Their personal tutor will be glad they’ve reached out and will be happy to listen and help resolve any of you or your child’s concerns.

Make Sure Their Environment Is Conducive To Studying

Creating the right study environment isn’t always easy, as we all have completely different living situations. But if you’ve decided that distance learning is the right choice for you, try and endeavour to make sure your child is in an environment conducive to productivity. With more of us than ever working and learning from home, studying from the kitchen table or even the sofa might be tempting!

Whilst this might work for some students, it’s generally a good idea to try and differentiate between study and leisure time when learning from home. Ideally, get them their own desk, and try and make sure that they’re studying in a quiet and tidy space. Try and encourage them to keep organised by clearing their workspace at the end of each day and writing tomorrow’s goals down. However, our environment is about so much more than the room we study in. Ask for your child’s input on how they learn best. They might want to experiment with listening to classical music or white-noise to heighten their concentration. On the other hand, some students prefer the background noise of a coffee shop – in which case they could try using a website such as Coffitivity.

Knowing the best way to support your child as they begin their distance learning journey can be incredibly challenging. Remember, though, communicating clearly throughout this journey will always be the best and most supportive thing you can do, to ensure they get the most out of it.

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Jessica is a freelance copywriter and content writer based in Richmond-Upon-Thames. With a degree in English Literature from University College London, she has experience as a private tutor for 14-18 years olds and adult learners. She has also worked in Widening Participation as a Mentor, Student Ambassador, and Student Leader. As someone who achieved A-Levels through distance-learning, Jessica has first-hand experience of the unique challenges and rewards that distance-learning offers. She regularly contributes content to educational websites including eNotes and Tutorful.

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