Online Learning Tips for Kids and Teens | Mydoh
preteen girl learning online

Online Learning Tips for Kids and Teens

Students are returning to online school in some provinces due to COVID-19. Here’s how parents can support remote learning for kids and teens.
January 4, 2022 · By Amanda Lee

Following the Ontario Government’s most recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) announcement, kids and teens in Ontario will switch to online learning starting January 5, 2022 for at least two weeks. However, Ontario isn’t the only province to announce the return of online learning because of the spread of Omicron. The province joins Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, while other provinces have extended the winter break for students. 

With millions of kids and teens returning to distance learning, parents are having to pivot yet again—and could be forgiven for feeling dizzy at this point. Even if it’s not your first virtual learning rodeo, here are some tips to help support your kids’ online learning. 

How parents can help their kids with online learning

“Kids thrive on structure and schedules,” says Mardi Ennis-Gregory, a family service coordinator based in Toronto, ON. “Especially after the winter break, it is hard to transition back to school.” Here a few ways that parents can help set kids up for success:

1. Develop a schedule

At this point in the pandemic, most families have probably shifted to online learning. However, Ennis-Gregory says it’s still a good idea to sit down with your kids or teens and develop or revise a schedule together. Consider some of the following points:

  • What time do your kids need to wake up for online learning?
  • What are the morning expectations, such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, making their own breakfast?
  • Have a plan for what happens after school ends. Are kids expected to do chores? When will homework get done? This is especially important for teens who may have an hour or more of homework on top of their virtual learning.
  • Establish where kids can do their schoolwork without disturbing others in the house.

2. Create a workspace

Determine what your kids need to create an alternative workspace and whether they have the necessary equipment (such as a pair of cheap headphones or a Chromebook borrowed from their school, if needed). Even if it’s only for a couple of weeks, let kids decorate their workspace (within reason! After all, you want them to be able to concentrate on their lessons), so it feels like their own. 

3. Stick to a routine

School hours mean there’s already something of a routine in place for when they’re expected to be attending class virtually. During longer breaks (like lunch), encourage your tween or teen to help make themselves some healthy food and also clean up. For younger kids, parents who are also working from home may wish to schedule their lunch break at the same time to help kids prepare a healthy lunch and check in on their day. 

Ennis-Gregory suggests parents encourage an outdoor activity after school ends for the day. Depending on the age of your kids, this could be playing in the snow, a run to the park, walking around the block, or shooting some hoops. If it’s too cold to get outside, try yoga, or put on some tunes and have a mid-afternoon dance party—anything to spend a bit of energy and transition from online schooling to home life. When it comes to routine, also include homework time, as needed.

4. Practice good sleep hygiene

One thing Ennis-Gregory advises is for kids and teens to get their sleep schedule back on track. While kids and teens can have time with their electronics at night, consistent bedtime and exercise are key aspects of sleep hygiene and are more likely to help set them up for success. “The more structure kids have, the more their bodies will be alert and open to learning,” says Ennis-Gregory. 

Teen girl doing homework

5. Check in with kids’ learning 

As parents, you know your kids best. While some kids may seamlessly transition from in-class learning to virtual, not all kids and teens thrive. Parents can help support their kids by making sure they are completing their work and checking in when they need help. School Boards should have a system in place for parents to stay on top of their kids’ assignments, such as Google Classroom. Parents may also wish to check in with their child’s teachers if your kids need additional support in a subject that isn’t your strong suit (it’s hard enough being a parent, never mind also being able to solve algebra equations!).

6. Stay connected 

For some kids, distance learning means feeling disconnected from their friends and peers. Help your kids stay connected virtually with friends and extended family through popular social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, or through video chats. 

7. Allow for breaks and forgiveness

Entering the third year of a global pandemic and returning to online learning isn’t easy for anyone. Ennis-Gregory says it’s okay for your kids to grieve the loss of the routine and social interactions at school, or even to be happy about learning at home. “As parents, we do the best we can with what we have,” she says. “It’s also okay to ask for help as we do our best to be patient with our kids and ourselves.” 

Mental Health Resources for kids and teens in Canada 

As in-person school is placed on pause for millions of kids and teens in Canada, it’s normal for kids to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Here are some mental health resources available for parents and teens:

  • Kids Help Phone provides confidential, professional counselling for youth aged five to 29-years-old. Call toll-free 1-800-668-6868 anytime 24-hours a day.
  • The Government of Canada has a round up of COVID-19 resources for parents and teens 
  • CAMH has a list of resources and support youth and parents during COVID-19
  • Jack.org offers a COVID-19 youth mental health resource hub.
  • Youth Mental Health Canada lists resources, including crisis centres in each province and territory. 
  • Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) has resources for parents and kids in Ontario, including a list of publicly funded Child and Youth Mental Health Centres. 
  • Foundrybc.ca offers online and in-person health and wellness resources, services and support for youth aged 12-24 in British Columbia.

Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgement of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

Start your free trial today

Get your first 30 days free and give your kids a head start on building money skills*.

September 21, 2021
Understanding the difference between a need and a want is fundamental to building good money habits with teens. Here are some tips on teaching the difference.
May 26, 2021
We share some tips for newcomers on understanding the financial landscape in Canada and how Mydoh can help kids learn about money.
March 31, 2021
Kids as young as three are already beginning to grasp the concept of money. Introduce the ABC's of money to your kids with these fun games and practical tips.
March 24, 2021
Parents should talk with their kids about money early. Here’s our tips on how kids can save money and build a plan that gives them a headstart on financial literacy.
March 17, 2021
Talking about money is the key to teaching kids good money savings habits, at every age. Those conversations don’t have to be awkward — and they can even be fun.
March 16, 2021
When should parents start teaching kids about money? The answer may surprise you. According to financial experts, the money lessons start early in life.
March 13, 2021
Online games and board games are a great way to introduce financial literacy skills. Here are nine fun money games for kids to play.
October 14, 2020
Volunteering or donating your time, money, or unwanted items are great ways to give back to your community. Learn more about what you and your kids can do.
September 8, 2020
Are your kids anxious about going back-to-school this year? Here’s how to talk to them about COVID-19, practice good hygiene and alleviate their fears.
August 24, 2020
Through this article, we hope to share consolidated information from authentic sources so you can understand what the new school year will look like in your province.

Seriously Secure

Kids can spend in-store and online up to allowable limits with their Mydoh Smart Cash Card issued by Royal Bank of Canada and powered by Visa.

Terms & Conditions

*The 30-day free trial offer is activated on the date of completion of the Mydoh mobile app account registration process. After your free trial offer ends, a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 ($2.99 for RBC Clients) will be taken out of your Mydoh Wallet. You can cancel any time by contacting Mydoh. Mydoh reserves the right to cancel, modify or withdraw this offer at any time.

† The RBC Visa Prepaid Mydoh Smart Cash Card (“Mydoh Smart Cash Card”) is available as a physical and digital card that can be used to pay for purchases online or in-store anywhere Visa contactless (tap) is accepted.

 

1. The RBC Visa Prepaid Mydoh Smart Cash Card (“Mydoh Smart Cash Card”) is available as a physical and digital card that can be used to pay for purchases online or in-store anywhere Visa contactless (tap) is accepted.

2. Parents can load and kids can access up to a maximum of $500 per day on their Mydoh Smart Cash Card. When loading money to a Mydoh Smart Cash Card, there are limits to the number of transfers and dollar amounts. Please see transfer and transaction limits.

3. RBC Client means an individual who holds at least one personal deposit account with Royal Bank of Canada (excluding saving accounts and US dollar accounts), or a personal RBC Royal Bank Credit Card.