This Home Learning Guide will give you some tips and suggestions for helping your children enjoy a successful virtual learning environment.
How to Integrate Hands-on Learning with Virtual Learning at Home
Exploring Robotics lessons and activities are easy to have a combination of on screen and screen-free activities, so your child will stay more engaged with the assignments. Some lessons are easier to combine with hands-on projects than others. Exploring Robotics lessons have been optimized for Student Paced Learning. This is the easiest way to integrate robotics and STEM into home learning, without you having to be an expert in coding or robotics!
What are Student-Paced learning lessons? Student-Paced learning describes learning environments that allow the student to move through the material at the pace that works, without stringent deadlines. Self-paced courses might be self-directed, but often they are instructor-directed courses the student is given the option to pace for comfort. The content is usually provided in the form of previously recorded video lectures that supplement worksheets, activities and hands-on tasks.
The biggest problem we have now in this unique time is that a majority of the educational content is prepared in a traditional manner, where the teacher lectures and 24 students all watch at the exact same time. With student-paced learning, videos and step-by-step instruction can be done on their own, and teachers can check in on progress. Students complete activities and can demonstrate what the robot does via photos, video, or during a video meeting with the teacher. Each student can set their own path and it can be faster or slower based on their prior experience and learning style. Because robotics and coding might be new to both you and your child, having the ability to self pace is very important in the success of your child in the at home learning environment.
What is your role as a parent?
With schools closed, many parents are being forced to work at home alongside their children. Take a look at the checklist below to see more about what the role of a parent might look like during this time:
What type of robotics systems are right for my child while at-home learning?
Not only is it important to make sure the hardware is in the right age-range for your child, but that the curriculum and lessons have been optimized for the grade level your child is currently in. Here is a grouping of STEM based robotic systems for each grade area.
Tips for parents to help their children excel in learning
Some final suggestions...
Go easy on yourself. Do what you can. These are difficult and uncertain times for parents and children. Parents will feel stressed, and children will, too. Talk about this with your child, explain how you manage stress, and invite children to help think through ways they can be more helpful or ways you can both make a difference in your own community or family. Skype with older relatives or invite them to Zoom in for dinner one night. Seek out support. Ask friends and relatives what they are doing to keep busy.
If you can, have fun. Build a fort. Have an indoor picnic. Use other toys or paper cups or items to make a robot playground. Create fun robot competitions. Take a walk. Make things with items you would normally throw away. Create playlists. Have a dance party in the kitchen. Write funny tweets about how hard this is. Try to find a rhythm or a time when you can get the most work done and maximize this. In a world where children often feel over-scheduled and overwhelmed, try to frame this time as a break from the stresses and pressures children face. Offering children opportunities to go outside or experience unstructured play are valuable opportunities.