By: Mallory Carr, M.A., CCC-SLP
It seems like overnight life went virtual! Doctors, teachers, and speech-language pathologists all brushed up on their Zoom skills and jumped into the realm of online care and learning. If online learning has been a struggle for your child or you’re looking for a few tips to improve your child’s learning over Zoom, this is for you!
Learning Space is Key
When your child entered their speech-language pathologist’s office, chances are your SLP spent time establishing expectations for learning, fun, and rules for speech. While we are all working on this again, there are some things you can do to help!
- Over-ear headphones: These implicitly help children focus on their lesson. They block out external sound from the house, as well as provide better sound quality. This is really helpful for articulation and reading!
- Quiet room: When your child is placed in a quiet room away from the hustle and bustle of the house, it is easier for them to focus. This mimics more closely the environment they grew accustomed to when speech sessions were in-person. Large rooms also offer lots of temptations to get up and grab something. Smaller rooms without toys are the best option.
- Comfortable desk: If a child has a specific place to sit and do their lesson, they will be more likely to stay in this place! Trying to do speech on a bed or couch can offer too much temptation to lay their heads down.
- Managing materials: for some students, having some paper and writing utensils is very helpful! For some students, having something to hold in their hands that’s not distracting (e.g., putty, fidget spinners, stress balls) is also helpful. While we try to make sessions as interactive as we can, sometimes things end up more hands-off than what students are used to with in-person lessons. Having materials ready for your child might save time getting kids redirected in the session! If you’re participating in parent-coaching sessions where you are playing and teaching your child while the SLP coaches you, material management is also important! Keeping materials out of reach of the child until you are ready to play with them will help keep your child focused on the target task.
Help with Zoom
Zoom has lots of great features that can make learning more engaging for your child. These features vary depending on the technology the child has access to (i.e., desktop, laptop, iPad). Spend some time helping your child learn how to access their online markers, highlighters, and stamps. If you’re unsure of how to access them, zoom.com has many helpful tutorials!
If your child is younger and/or has difficulties with attention, you might be the biggest tool in keeping them on track! Being present for the sessions allows you to collaborate with your SLP, manage materials, and have fun learning with your child.
If you have any questions about online learning or how to help your child specifically, your child’s SLP will be glad to answer your questions and brainstorm with you the best ways to maximize your child’s learning through teletherapy.
If you would like more information on beginning teletherapy for your child, call us at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center. We are happy to help!
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131