As Coronavirus Cases Climb, Here are Suggestions for When Learning at Home


Fraya Brattebo, Reporter

As Coronavirus Cases Climb, Here are Suggestions for When Learning at Home
Chagrin Falls Middle School once again engaged in distance learning at the end of the 2020 calendar year and at the start of 2021. Distance learning is a challenge for many students. As a way to help students learn in this hard time, Tiger Tales has gathered some suggestions from students on how to make learning at home a better experience. Additionally, organizing suggestions from CNN have been added to offer the specialist perspective.
As of January 11th, 2021, Chagrin Falls Middle School is planning to transition to all in-person learning, starting on January 19th. As there may be quarantines or closures in the future, however, and some students will be in the all-remote Virtual Academy, distance learning is far from over. Students should also remember that these suggestions are always a good thing to keep in mind. While in a pandemic these skills will help students thrive in a less than ideal environment.
CNN explains a few ways students can help improve their learning techniques while joining their classes from home. First, students should always keep in touch with their teachers. While everyone is physically apart, it makes it even more crucial to keep in touch over email, Zoom, and Google Classroom. If a student is confused about the material or is falling behind, the best thing to do is ask for help. Teachers are going through many of the same things as students, so teachers understand and can help. This goes for in-person schooling as well: if a student needs one on one help just ask your teacher.
Seventh grade student Jennah Hamdan explained that, “Well, distance learning hasn’t been easy, but it’s important to stay in touch with the teachers. They’ve helped me in the ways of when I’m absent, sending me the lessons I’ve missed or even re-setting something for me.” Hamdan enrolled in the virtual academy option this year and said that contact with teachers really helped her make it through the first semester.
Rachel Rosenthal, an organization specialist and owner of Rachel and Company, her business which helps customers organize their lives, explains that, in addition to contact, “when a child’s physical surroundings are organized, it enables them to do better work,” so organization is key. In addition, part of being organized is having a set schedule. When students know what their day is going to consist of they can plan ahead and be more prepared for their classes. In-person students must balance going to lockers and keeping distance. When students bring multiple masks, hand sanitizer, and other supplies it is easier to keep an in-school day on schedule.
Along with planning ahead, it is always important to have obtainable goals. Eighth grader Emily Shisila elaborates that, “It’s important to have something to look forward to; I have something to work towards and keep my mind on.” She uses goals to keep her on track and always allows for positive events to keep her mind off the hard parts of online learning.
CNN reporter Matt Villano suggests minimizing any distractions, so students are more likely to stay on track. Whether it be a phone or a toy, distracting items should be in a different area than where a student learns. Part of getting rid of distractions is having a designated learning space in the home. This helps to build up a routine and add some normalcy.
Ben Lewis, an 8th grade student at Chagrin Falls Middle School, implements similar methods to those suggested above. Remarking “When I am learning remotely, I get myself away from any distractions like my phone or toys. I feel when those are near I lose attention to the teacher.” As previously stated, this is a very important thing to apply to a student’s school day. Paying attention to classes and instructions is a critical part of learning both at and away from a school building.
Sofia De La Cruz, a 7th grade student, has similar tips while learning from home. Adding that, “I like to be in my room or somewhere where other people can’t distract me.” If a student lives with a big family or in a smaller home, this is great advice. Being away from siblings and parents allows for an environment more similar to in-person schooling.
All these methods help improve the overall quality of education a student receives while online. Although distance learning is not how we’ve been traditionally been educated, it can be used as a helpful reminder of the importance of perseverance. Students should remember the privilege that going to school in person is while they are at home. While at school, students should remember the importance of social distancing, masks, and washing hands. By keeping in contact with teachers, being organized, and minimizing distractions students can have a better experience learning whether at home or school.