• Joey Lai

Keeping our 2nd Grader Engaged

Keeping a little one engaged during online learning is difficult. Like I have mentioned before, when we return to in person instruction I believe TK-2nd need to go back first as they need the in-person instruction the most. It also allows 50% capacity at the schools while we adjust. While we most likely won't be back to in-person instruction until October at the earliest here are some things we have done to try to keep Cole engaged with on-line learning.

  1. We created his own space. He has his own desk and own room to have class so he has his privacy. If he is in a common room or somewhere where he feels we are watching him he gets easily distracted. If you don't have a separate space for your student to use, try a divider. I have seen some clever ideas on Facebook to create the "own space" atmosphere with a room divider.

  2. Equipment - We got him an office chair, wireless mouse, and 27 inch monitor that is connected to his Chromebook. Better equipment = better experience learning. He was thrilled because he felt like he was getting the same equipment as an e-gamer or Youtuber, but in reality these things help with learning online. Try surprising your student with a wireless mouse, the Chromebook mousepad is horrific! You might think getting all this equipment is expensive. I got the office chair from Facebook marketplace second hand, the monitor was from Amazon (purchased as used, no need to buy new), and the mouse was an old one from work. Check the Nextdoor App too! You can also contact your school about a classroom desk and chair to be loaned out. Do not buy new equipment! There are so many people online that will sell at 25% of new prices or may even give it away for free.

  3. After school is done, we have done some fun science projects to keep a little bit of momentum going. Cole, loves Crystals so we got a Crystal making set from Geppetto's Toy Store at the Forum Shops in Encinitas. Each day after school we either try a new experiment or check on status of our previous experiment. The Crystal set in the picture cost $30, but it has about 10 different experiments. $3 an experiment for 2 weeks of fun learning seems like a good value. We usually spend 15-30 minutes with the Crystal set, but it helps with learning and mixing things up after online learning.

Why I think the equipment helps? I have seen a lot of pictures online and you can tell kids are sitting at the kitchen table, sitting on a bar stool, and don't have necessary equipment to make online learning as fun as possible. Lets face it, if you were in an office working and your employer gave you a micro laptop, an uncomfortable chair, no cubical, and a desk you wouldn't be motivated to work either. Now, if you came in to the office and you had your own office/cube, larger monitor, pens, stapler, and all the bells and whistles it gives you a better chance to start the day off right!

Hope this helps. I know it is only the 3rd day of school, but the more we share with each other and give specifics on how we try to help our kids, we all benefit.

Here are some links to ideas to help -

Wireless Mouse for Kids -

Computer Monitor for $30 on Facebook Marketplace -

Office Chairs on Facebook Marketplace -

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