Setting Your Child Up for Successful Distance Learning
While providing effective distance learning for your child is not difficult, it takes some getting used to. This is especially the case if you, like many parents we work with, never experienced distance learning when you were a child.
Seattle Therapy wants to help your child succeed at distance learning. Here we discuss proper table positioning, posture, elevation, and other essential aspects of creating the optimal distance learning environment for your child.
1. Proper Positioning
To properly position tabletop activities, provide an appropriately sized table and chair. Remember the 90-90-90 rule. Your child’s feet should be flat on the floor with their ankles, knees, and hips all bent at neat 90-degree angles. If your child is sitting in a taller chair, place books or a box under his or her feet.
Tabletop should be approximately 1-2 inches above elbow level so the child can rest their arm comfortably on the surface to engage in writing or art activities. If the seat is too deep, a cushion may be placed behind the child to allow them to sit further forward.
2. Effective Distance Learning Environment
Keep your child away from areas of high traffic. Reduce clutter around them to minimize distractions, and give them enough space to spread out their books and school supplies. Make sure the area is well lit and provide headphones to block environmental sounds (cars, people walking, talking, and so on).
3. Screen Elevation
Using books or a box, elevate your child’s screen to their eye level. Make sure that their neck is in a comfortable, neutral position to minimize fatigue and neck tension.
4. Eye Position
To promote eye health, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, encourage your child to look 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. Doing so will help your child relax their eye muscles and prevent eye strain.
5. Distance Learning Visual Schedule
Provide a visual schedule (either written or in pictures) to show your child what to expect during each school day. If needed, include movement, snack or bathroom breaks as reminders.
Allow for multiple opportunities for structured movement, sensory, and snack breaks throughout the day. This helps your child’s brain and body remain regulated throughout the day.
For children who need to move often or have difficulty with postural stability, allow for a variety of sitting positions: lying down, standing, kneeling, etc. Various sitting positions will help your child’s body stay regulated.
Alternative seating options, such as on an exercise ball, wobble stool, etc., may also support your child’s sensory needs and help their body stay organized for learning.
Designate a specific area for your child’s school materials. This will facilitate easy access and clean up. For example, open containers like coffee mugs provide easy access to materials and make for faster clean up.
Seattle Therapy is dedicated to your child success. Please consult with your child’s therapist for additional recommendations to support your child during distance learning. Visit our main page for more information.