The term “social distancing” defines the moment. For most people, their role in fighting the pandemic is staying at home and to avoid other people. Schools have shuttered their doors for months or for the rest of the school year as teachers and students alike learn a new way to conduct their classes: in the virtual world. Online learning isn’t new and many teachers were already incorporating it as part of their classes but with the school closures, students are getting 100% of their education completely online.
How are children expected to sit in front of a computer all day and stay focused on academics? In a school setting, educators know the importance of getting students moving periodically throughout the day. If they’re going to focus, they need to expel energy every once in a while out at recess, physical education class, or group activities. In a home setting, children have even more distractions than at school so getting them to focus on schoolwork is even more challenging, making exercise all the more important.
Here are some ways that teachers can get students moving while being educated at home to help them meet their academic goals:
Assign children’s workout videos. Youtube is full of fun workouts of varying lengths and strenuousness for kids of all ages like this video by Fitness Blender. Coach Aaron Wood of Hixson Elementary has been posting fun and engaging online PE classes so kids can keep in shape while they’re learning from home. His videos can be found here.
Before choosing a video, review its content to ensure that it’s the right skill level for your students and doesn’t require any special equipment. Teachers can record themselves doing simple routines for students to do with them at home. This will allow teachers to connect with students to give them a small reminder of what it felt like to be in school.
Have a Scavenger Hunt
Create a list of items for kids to find in their homes and yards. Things like a spoon with holes in it, a piece of green cloth, a rock that looks like an ear―objects that most families would have in their homes but in different areas so the student has to move around to find them. Have them take pictures of each to complete the assignment.
Integrate Some Exercises In Other Assignments
Whatever the assignment, add to the instruction things like push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks. Scatter instructions like “Do 10 jumping jacks” or “Get up and dance” among questions in an assignment. Have them do assignments in the driveway with sidewalk chalk and take a photo.
Put Creativity in Their Hands
Why not have students figure out how to be active? Have them create an activity that involves movement like an obstacle course, paddleball using kitchen utensils, a ping pong ball game using plastic cups, or give them a few suggestions for materials that they may have lying around the house like plastic cups, coins, paper bags, etc. and let their imaginations do the rest.
The challenge with social distancing is that children can’t get together and play soccer or go to a playground or other ways that are normally encouraged. Adding even a little bit of activity in their at-home school day will help reduce anxiety and keep them be more alert and healthier. At EAGLE College Preparatory Schools, we’re here for our students and their families during this difficult time. We’re providing remote learning for our students to continue their school year while distancing is required and will provide continued support for their academic success.
We’re now enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year. If you’d like to enroll your student click here. For more information on what we do at EAGLE College Preparatory Schools of St. Louis, please visit our website or call us at (314) 664-7627.