How To Make Distance Learning Better For Fidgety Kids

Wicker and Wilde

Trying to keep kids focused on learning is something teachers have always had to deal with, but now with remote learning, it’s on mom and dad at home. Some kids are more restless durning distance lessons, others have a tough time paying attention, especially with all the distractions during Zoom meetings. These strategies have worked for one mom and her fidgety kid and they could make homeschool better for yours, too.

Meet basic needs first - Before they sit down for lessons, have your kid use the bathroom, give them a movement break and make sure they’re not hungry or thirsty, so they can’t use those as an excuse to get out of school.

Consider alternative seating - Let them move away from the desk and try learning while sitting on the floor, lying on their stomachs, or using chair alternatives like a beanbag, a stool, or a wiggle cushion.

Try alternative locations - Try letting your kid go outside and work on a blanket in the grass or under a tree. Let them move under the dining room table for a change of scenery with less distractions and experiment with other locations that may work for them.

Find fidget toys that work - Look for ones that aren’t too noisy or big and can be held in your child’s lap - below camera level. There are all kinds of options, like therapy putty, fidget cubes, stress balls, and sensory slap bracelets and which one works best will depend on your kid. (8 best Fidget toys)

Take a lot of recess breaks - Kids need to move around, so make sure you give them plenty of breaks for recess.

Choose appropriate clothing - Uncomfortable clothing can be a huge distraction, so help your kid get dressed in outfits that will help them focus on school, not what they’re wearing.

Set a timer - This works for kids who always ask “how much time is left?”

Give positive praise and reinforcement - Try to focus on the positive and motivate your kid by telling them they’ve done a good job or are trying their best, even for small things.

Prepare them in advance - Talk about the upcoming activity they’ll be doing, help them get the materials they’ll need and let them know what the expectations are ahead of time. All of these steps will take some trial and error to figure out what works best, but a happy kid means a happier parent, so it’s worth your time.