The COVID pandemic has changed the way students live, learn, and visit with their friends. They have logged online to attend school, played online games, and visited with grandparents over video chat. This is the first generation of children to be so reliant on screen time and for students to show a gap in learning due to a pandemic. Dropkick Math understands the strategies that children need to overcome any educational gaps they may have missed during the time they were involved in online learning. Our programs offer math help services that can provide you with the tools to support your child in math moving forward.
An Increase In Screen Time
Unsurprisingly, children worldwide were reported to have increased screen time during the pandemic. But these stay-at-home orders that prompted children to turn to the screens have had many educators and parents debating how much screen time is appropriate for children. These COVID-19 safety measures shifted the ideals around children and screen time so much that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) even updated its guidance on-screen use. They now suggest, “Screen usage has likely increased for children, but parents should ensure media use is positive and helps the family and community.”
How Can We Balance Screen Time Effectively?
Although screen time is being used for education and socializing, it can come with consequences. But why is balancing time on screen important?
It is more important than ever to put schedules and structure into daily life for children to ensure a healthy balanced lifestyle. If no measures are taken, screen time, video games, and social media can really creep in and take over.
Through the pandemic, many parents and educators have been reporting that the more screen time young people have, toddlers in particular, the more behaviour problems they may exhibit and the more learning problems they experience in their development. Children need to interact with the real world before venturing into the virtual world.
But these cautions are not limited to very young children. Parents of children of all ages need to be mindful of the impact that increased screen time may have. This increased screen time has been found to affect:
Sleep – Essential for mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Physical Activity – Exercise and movement can help young bodies develop and prevent obesity.
Socializing – Interacting with others can promote communication and help to build empathy.
Family Time – Connecting with family members can help to establish bonds, trust, and openness.
Diet and Nutrition – Whole, healthy foods can provide essential vitamins and nutrients that are essential for good health.
Personal Responsibilities – School assignments and housework can foster discipline, helping to form structure and responsibilities.
How many hours of screen time is healthy? While there is no definitive answer to this question, it is vital to keep a healthy balance. Screen time can affect everyone differently, so parents should be on the lookout for behavioural signs in their children are over engaging with screens. Kids that have severe tantrums need to turn off their games. Teens who stay up late at night, stop socializing, or spend time with family also need to cut screen time. Some children have stopped grooming and failed to meet their responsibilities at school, which could eventually cause school failures.
How Do You Balance Screen Time And Offline Time?
Talking with your children about their screen time can help keep parents engaged and knowledgeable about their child’s online activities. Parents should also encourage their children to share online experiences and discuss them. Starting a conversation can help normalize similar discussions about content as they get older. Simply talking to kids about their media can be incredibly powerful.
How Parents Can Manage Screen Time
As the pandemic has required children to use their computers and phones more often, it can be tricky for parents to try and limit their screen time. Therefore, balancing screen time may mean changing the way kids use electronic devices. Instead of simply playing games, use the opportunity for your child to play an educational game that can help them understand key skills focused on a specific subject. These games can also teach adults about their child’s cognitive learning development. If you notice your child likes playing games focused on mathematical equations and scores, that child may enjoy working more on complex math problems. At Dropkick Math, we use math intervention programs disguised as fun and engaging games to help foster your child’s confidence in mathematics.
Children can also use their screen time to watch interactive videos about topics that interest them, such as animals. This can help introduce them to different educational concepts. Older children may find content that can help build their skills more tactilely. For example, they can learn a new skill such as cooking or sewing.
The key is to monitor and moderate screen time. There are a few steps that can be taken to help children achieve a healthy balance of screen usage, including:
The primary key to remember when balancing your child’s screen time is to provide them with a break from screens. By stepping away from laptops or iPads, children can participate in a variety of other activities.
More To Education
At Dropkick Math we understand there is more to your child’s education than simply staring at the screen. We are not an online math tutor; we are much more. We help children understand their identified mathematical stumbling blocks through fun and engaging game-based learning. By approaching math in a fun and engaging way, we can provide you and your child with the tools to move forward in math. Contact us today for more information about our programs.