Parenting & Family

How to get kids focused on online class work

[OP]
Newbie
Mar 18, 2007
61 posts
13 upvotes

How to get kids focused on online class work

I have a grade 1 and a grade 4 kids doing online school. They use Google classroom. But they can add new tab and start online games or Watching YouTube at the same time. Can other parents share their experience on how we can make sure that they are focused on class work only.
11 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2005
1055 posts
906 upvotes
Markham, ON
As a parent of a child in grade 4 and grade 2, we set strict guidelines when it comes to screen time (Youtube, gaming etc..) on school days/nights -- none what-so-ever.

On Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays before 3:00PM they're allowed to have screen time.

If they can't follow the rules, they lose their privileges completely as punishment.

I can't take credit for it, it's all my wife, and it's working great so far. Obviously, it's not flawless as my 7 year old tries to sneak in screen time and he's lost his Xbox access for extended periods of times when he's done so.
FIDO, Koodo, Public Mobile, TELUS customer.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 18, 2007
61 posts
13 upvotes
Thanks for the quick response. We have set up rules also. We cannot be checking until we finished our work until end of day. In order to ensure that rules are being followed, I use browsing history to check for abnormal activities. I wonder if you are using any software or computer set up to make monitoring a little easier.
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Jul 5, 2004
25044 posts
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RFD_User wrote: Thanks for the quick response. We have set up rules also. We cannot be checking until we finished our work until end of day. In order to ensure that rules are being followed, I use browsing history to check for abnormal activities. I wonder if you are using any software or computer set up to make monitoring a little easier.
Surely you're not leaving 2 kids that young to fend for themselves all day, so why can't you check their browsing history a couple times throughout the day?

There's no magic formula. You'll have to do the same things you have always done when you want your kids to do what you ask. Every kid and every parent is different.
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2005
1055 posts
906 upvotes
Markham, ON
RFD_User wrote: Thanks for the quick response. We have set up rules also. We cannot be checking until we finished our work until end of day. In order to ensure that rules are being followed, I use browsing history to check for abnormal activities. I wonder if you are using any software or computer set up to make monitoring a little easier.
My kids go into school, they don't do virtual learning.
When they have access to screen time, we rely on the oldest to monitor the others.
She's very good at letting us know when the other 2 are doing "bad things".
We have the same google the kids use for youtube and web on both my phone and wife's phone so we can look at the search, web, youtube history.
FIDO, Koodo, Public Mobile, TELUS customer.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2342 posts
1139 upvotes
Ottawa
RFD_User wrote: I have a grade 1 and a grade 4 kids doing online school. They use Google classroom. But they can add new tab and start online games or Watching YouTube at the same time. Can other parents share their experience on how we can make sure that they are focused on class work only.
Well it is not possible. Given our caseload kids that age should be in person learning.
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1032 posts
406 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
We usually have their computers set up where we can see them like family room, our office, etc. For meets with teachers they used our office earlier this year when school was closed and I had to sit next to my Sr. Kindergarten (now grade 1) son to make sure he focuses. It's also particularly hard at that age technology-wise. One of the main reason why we sent them to school in September.

Also if they play rather than working they know they will have their privileges taken away. We usually allow them to play starting Friday afternoon and week-ends, but that's when homework is done or if we see they have worked enough to deserve play time.
Last edited by ckay1980 on Oct 20th, 2020 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jun 9, 2003
24637 posts
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Markham, ON
it's no different than your child not participating in class.

At the end of the day, it's about parenting and teaching them the benefits of education.
If you are worried, then during the 1 hour of self learning (end of day) you can supplement their work with your choice of kids workbooks from amazon. You can see what they learned and completed at the end of the week and determine what you need to supplement. In my case, my 2nd grader child didnt have enough sentence writing, so I told him to pick words from his school's word dictionary and to write sentences.

Also youtube time on my child's tablet is limited to 1 hr per day. Any violations usually results in loss time in the future.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3236 posts
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Woodbridge
I'd connect with their teachers and see if they have any concerns. Kids spend 300 minutes a day in a classroom with a teacher. Are they paying attention for 300 minutes? Hell no. I'm not sure what the structure of their lessons is and how much independent work time/collaborative work time their teachers have embedded in the program. If it's just the teacher on the screen talking for 225 minutes, it's just not going to happen that they're going to be able to pay attention. As long as their teachers don't have concerns with what they're seeing and assessing, I wouldn't worry. One thing you might do is have a conversation with the kids and say that you've noticed them opening new tabs and playing games and watching videos during lessons. Ask them why. They might say that they're bored, or that they finished their work early, or that they don't understand the stuff, or that their teacher needs a minute to gather their material or whatever. The reasons for why they're going to new tabs might help guide your response. An option might be to provide a list of "approved distractions" that they can go to when they need a break... something like typeracer or some coding game or something else that's educational-ish or that you'd rather them be doing.
Jr. Member
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Apr 16, 2009
162 posts
20 upvotes
There are programs that you can use to block Youtube, games, etc. For example, I use OpenDNS (it's free) to block game sites on weekdays, and unblock on weekends.
Member
Jul 7, 2020
249 posts
97 upvotes
Ottawa
Ask the teacher if there can be more opportunities to complete work offline. I am teaching virtually myself, and the kids all have the option to complete things like worksheets online or they can print them off and upload a picture of it later, and this is working well. A lot of parents insist on completing the work offline even if their kid can handle doing everything on the computer. Of course, they would still need to be present during instructional time, but this way they can get a bit of a break.

I would also try to think bigger about the issue. I have always had problems with focus and concentration from a young age, but that's because I grew up in a home with mental illness and significant stress, so I couldn't apply myself even if I had more self-discipline because I was constantly daydreaming about other things. I think it could be more than just a self-discipline issue, but if that's all it is then that should be pretty easy to fix through practice and better routines. I don't think website blockers are a great idea, and they could actually cause problems if you need to use something like youtube for legitimate academic reasons.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 18, 2007
61 posts
13 upvotes
Thanks for all the good advices. After couple of months online school, both kids are doing fine. I still monitor the browser history at the end of the day. The teachers are doing a good job of keeping them busy during online time. They also have assignments to work on while they are offline during school hours. Sitting next to the kids during the day is not an option for us. The teachers also do not like that . I have heard the grade 1 teacher asking the mom of another kid to leave the class.

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