Round Two of Virtual Learning

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, August 12, 2020
By Ricardo Sardina , LMHC

The end of summer is here and we are heading into round two of virtual learning. The adjustment of virtual learning has been difficult for many, not only for the kids but for the parents as well. For those who were working from home, it’s frustrating to be in a Zoom meeting while your kids are in the next room attempting to concentrate and complete their classwork. This is especially hard if your child normally has a hard time focusing.

Colored "Virtual Learning" sign

Below are some tips that may help decrease the frustration of virtual learning at home and improve concentration.

Work Place

A good idea to help your child focus well during virtual learning is NOT from their bed. The bed is way too comfortable and there’s a better chance of your child not paying attention to what’s going on. Their bed should be a place for relaxation and sleeping, not working during school hours. I suggest setting up an area that is comfortable enough to fit their laptop with a writing area. It should be a place where they feel comfortable to work all day. Facing their desk toward a window where there is sunlight will help with their concentration. It should be private enough that they feel comfortable to participate in the virtual class and communicate with their teachers and classmates without Mom or Dad listening in. If space is limited, it could be on a desk or table in their bedroom, but not on the bed.


For me, this is very important. Kids, no matter what school age, function better if they follow a routine. Having a set schedule helps them be more aware of what is going on and when things are due to be turned in. It also helps them become more independent. Parents should still keep track of their child’s school schedule not only to help them be organized, but this can help parents plan their activities around the child’s schedule. Remember, kids may not know this, but they want and need routines. A schedule provides a structure that helps kids feel secure and safe.

Boy sitting at desk working

Restrict Phone Use

Kids are not going to like this one, but a great way to help with concentration and to assist in completing their virtual classwork is to restrict cellphone use while virtual learning. Just like when your child is at school, they do not need their phones during virtual learning unless the school requires it. If phones are not required, put these away somewhere where they are not a distraction. This can be your room, office, kitchen, any place that is away from your child’s virtual learning space. There is no need for them to have a phone near them. If you see that your child is staying focused, working hard, and is completing all the necessary work, then you can give the phone back during the scheduled breaks. However, after the break phones should be turned off again and put away in a different location.

Electronics Break

Too much time on-electronics affects all of us. It affects our mood, attitude, and/or physical health. It is a good idea to take breaks from electronics whenever possible. Yes, virtual learning requires us to be in front of the computer or laptop all day, so whenever possible let’s take breaks. For instance, complete assignments on paper, read real books, and complete math assignments by pencil. This will allow screen breaks and help with your child’s overall mood.

Communicate with Teacher

If a parent has concerns about their child’s academics or how they are coping with the current situation, communicating with their teacher is a good way to have a better understanding on how they are dealing with everything, especially keeping up with assignments. I have noticed that when a parent and teacher work together, the child tends to benefit not only academically but cope better with what is going on around them. Of course, different ages require different types of supervision. If the child is high school age, the teenage child should be communicating more with their teacher, and the parents should be in the background making sure their child is following through.

Adjusting to virtual learning has been hard for all of us, not only for the parents and teachers but most importantly for our kids. We never expected this to go on for so long. Therefore, we need to remember that we are all in this together. If we all work together, communicate with each other, take electronics breaks, and have a set routine/schedule, we’ll be able to help our children with their academic performance as well as with their social well-being.