As online learning becomes more popular, so does the need for screens. However, although screen time is an essential aspect of online education, 71% of parents are concerned about the effects of screen time.
Studies have shown the physical and health effects of excessive screen time, including increased blood pressure and obesity in kids from sedentary lifestyles.
Excessive screen time is also linked to attention and distraction issues. For example, too much screen time has proven to reduce attention span, making it difficult for students to concentrate while studying. In addition, the blue light that emanates from screens during bedtime significantly leads to a lack of proper sleep, affecting children’s mood and alertness the following day.
Since excessive screen time has adverse effects on kids’ health and retention, parents must help them establish a balance between the time spent online and offline. This involves adopting specific practices to help them make the most of their screen time to achieve academic goals while maintaining optimal health.
5 ways to help your kids maximize screen time while studying
Research has shown that optimizing children’s screen time can boost their academic performance and prevent the risks associated with excessive screen time. Here are the top five practices to help your kids make the most of screen time.
1. Establish some ground rules
Creating screen time rules is an excellent way for kids to use their screen time effectively. The first step to doing this is to help them view the screen as a tool to learn and perform specific tasks, not as a treat they can use leisurely or every time of the day. Understanding this will help them set clear boundaries around and use them optimally.
Secondly, create family rules, including where and how kids can use their devices. For example, you may allow them to use their computers in study rooms, not in the bedroom or car. You can also restrict screen usage to specific periods, including limiting their screen usage to an hour after dinner and none before school time.
However, note that creating screen usage rules is never a one-size-fits. It varies from child to child based on their study needs. Therefore, ensure the rules are flexible and personalized to suit your kids’ preferences and goals.
2. Encourage short screen time sessions
Prolonged screen sessions may cause strains and fatigue, attracting the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. So, encourage your kids to spend minimum time on their screens. You can use a timer to set the time they spend on their screens and take breaks. For example, they can spend about two hours studying online and take 30 minutes break to perform physical activity.
Engaging in breaks and physical activities refreshes their mind and enable them to understand and retain what they learn. It also eliminates boredom and makes learning fun, allowing them to concentrate and invest actively in their lessons.
3. Monitor their online activity
It’s essential to stay updated about your kids’ online consumption habits. For example, how do they use the screens during non-learning periods? Knowing the type of content they consume online will let you guide them on the right path.
So, track their activities to stay updated about their non-learning online engagements. Do they play more games, spend more time watching movies, or socialize on social media? Help them make the right choices by recommending and restricting specific content. Also, create a balance by ensuring they are involved in other activities that boost their creativity and alertness.
4. Create an offline time together
Limiting screen time is easier for kids when they have an engaging offline activity to look forward to. Therefore, create an offline time agreement to perform an activity your child will be interested in. This may include putting their phone and computer away at specific times of the day to walk the dog, play board games, or listen to bedtime stories.
You can also adopt DIY activities like building a playhouse or creating equipment. Doing these will enable kids to stay creative and find a balance between online and offline activities, limiting screen time and maximizing the time they spend online.
5. Lead by example
Kids learn by example. So, the best way to show them how to optimize screen time is to adopt screen limit practices for yourself. To do this, set screen limit rules like putting away phones during mealtime, turning off your computer during family time, and taking time off the screen to perform offline activities. Doing this will help your kid follow your lead and separate screen time from their physical time.
Help your child maximize their screen time while they study with Explico
Screen time is critical to online learning. However, the key to helping kids make the most of it is to adopt practices that let them separate screen time from their personal lives. To do this, parents must monitor how long they stay online and what they do with their screen time.
Explico is an online learning platform that lets students learn on their schedule. Students can decide when to take a course, or participate in an assessment, giving them control over their screen time. This lets them use their screen time optimally to succeed academically and in other aspects of their lives. Visit our platform to learn more about our assessment and classes.