Have you decided to do distance learning, or a hybrid of in-school with a dollop of distance learning on the side?
As everyone starts to think about the upcoming school year, with endless questions in sight, we want to provide some answers.
Below are some helpful tips, strategies, and resources from Grant Therapy Services. These can help create a more sensory friendly, and truly individualized space for your child during their distanced learning for the upcoming school year.
First things first, what kind of learner(s) do you have in your home?
One of the things we try to understand initially, is what type of learner is your child? There are 4 main learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic. It’s not uncommon for a child to have multiple learning styles.
The key takeaway is that when resources are available catered to their learning style, comprehension, retention, and overall better supported environment, they are going to receive more individualized support during this time, and also have that learning resource to support them throughout their education and ever-learning and ever-growing lives.
Check out the link at the end of this article for a free assessment from Grade Power Learning.
Setting up your “work” area.
I like to call this, “my battle station”. This means I have created an environment that is pleasing to my own visual processing system, as well as supporting what my body needs to be ready to focus. My chair swivels, providing my body vestibular input when my body feels “wiggly”. When I have all of these things helping me as I manage whatever task ahead of me, it gives me a more positive experience at my desk, and in the long-run, a nice feel good boost of serotonin as I sit down and my body recognizes that this spot in my home, “I get stuff done!”
Many alternative seating is available depending on what your child’s needs are. Yoga balls can be great alternative seating as they can give bounces when needed, and they also strengthen our core muscles, leading to better postural support! Links can be found at the end of the article.
Visuals are a great way to create a sense of structure and consistent routine daily. This is something that has been different during this pandemic and all of the unknowns, this is a way to provide that predictability for both your at-home students, but yourself as well. You can create a schedule as simple or detailed as you’d like, just try to focus on consistency whenever possible to build structure and predictability.
Getting started with Brain Gym!
Brain Gym is a movement-based program with a goal to support the physical skills required for learning.
Brain Gym Technique 1- Lazy 8s
The benefits of this simple exercise are said to include: thinking more clearly, relaxation, improving visual tracking and increasing attention span.
Put a piece of paper centrally in front of you and draw a large lying down 8 in the middle of your sheet of paper.
Move the pen counterclockwise; go in the center, up left, over and down, come back to the middle, and then draw the right side of the 8. Do this 3 times, then switch hands and draw another 3 lazy 8s. Then clasp your hands together and draw over the lines another 3 times.
Remember to incorporate age-appropriate amounts of teaching, including breaks with movement after lunch or mid-day.
Try to remember that the traditional school day isn’t going to be similar to distance learning. But this doesn’t mean we can’t take opportunities to explore subjects by carrying over further exploration of learning principles from, let’s say a living room fort. Everything is more fun and engaging if it’s carried over into contexts and environments that are more meaningful to us.
Get through “the afternoon slump”
Sometimes it’s even hard to stay engaged in your time at the table, so in addition to age-appropriate time schedules, you can also find below some strategies to stimulate our bodies if our arousal levels are too low.
Brain Gym Technique 2- Thinking cap
“Let’s put on our THINKING CAPS” can be modeled with your child when there are distractions in the afternoon and you’re trying to get back on task.
This exercise is said to help you tune out noises and increase listening ability, as well as improving short-term memory and abstract thinking skills.
With one hand at the top of each ear, gently ‘unroll’ the curved part of your ears, three times from top all the way to the bottom of your earlobes. Repeat three or more times.
You’re not alone.
These times are hard for everyone.
Here at Grant Therapy Services, we’re here to help. Reach out to a therapist, and get personalized help today. https://granttherapy.com/contact/