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Working or doing online learning at home? Here's how to create a distraction-free work space

It's not an easy adjustment, but those who work with students online every day offer this advice.

Schools are closed one state over in Wisconsin, but here in Minnesota, at this point, they're still open.

But it could become a reality, just like it already is for many workers.

So, how do you get your kids ready to possibly work from home someday, so they're not too distracted?

"It's a lot of change for our kiddos and we want to make sure we're not overwhelming them," Minnesota Connections Academy Principal Melissa Gould says.

Gould and her colleagues have been teaching online classes for 15 years.

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“We have students in all nooks and crannies of the state, about 2,900 students statewide,” Gould says.

She has this advice for students and parents who suddenly find themselves working from home:

"Structure your day as much as a school day as you can. Think about including those breaks that happen during passing time if you're a middle schooler or high schooler. Think about those recesses, those lunch breaks. Follow that routine if you can," Gould says.

And don’t be afraid to take a break every 30 to 50 minutes.

Gould says this will prevent burning out from too much learning or too much work.

Gould also recommends setting up a designated learning or workspace at your home.

"We don't recommend students are in a bedroom with a computer and doing online learning. It should be a visible area and parents can be there and partake," Gould says.

Assistant Principal Tung Pham says a corner in the living room, or a spot on the kitchen table is just fine.

“It can be simple with just a chair at the dining room table. Or you can set up a desk in the corner of a room, whatever is most comfortable for you,” Pham says.

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He says setting a list of goals every morning for your kid, and for yourself, will keep everyone on task.

And then every night, for your kids, ask them about their day.

“It’s pretty critical that parents do talk it over with their kid at home like, ‘alright, what did we learn today? What did you do?’ Sort of recap their day so that these lessons are really being drilled into their memory,” Pham says.

And if something doesn't work don't be afraid to try something different.

Gould says it usually takes kids a few weeks to adjust to online learning.

"There's going to be a lot of trial and error. Just because you start out on a Monday and it wasn't how you thought it was going to be, you're going to work your way into a system and a schedule and each day it's going to be a little easier."

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