VIDEO: Strategies for Engagement During Online Learning

Clinical Expertise

Jun 3, 2021

Medical Reviewer: Helen Phelan, OTR/L
Last Updated: June 2, 2021

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Weezie Phelan and I am a pediatric occupational therapist at the Brooks Rehab Clinic in Mandarin.

Today, I’m going to be talking about some strategies to help your child stay engaged during online learning.

Certain activities tend to calm the body and mind, whereas others tend to alert. So I’m going to go over some calming strategies and some alerting strategies today.

Calming strategies will help your child sit at their table and focus during online learning.

The first one is called hand, head or chair pushes. So basically you’re engaging what’s called the proprioceptive system to help calm the body. So this can be achieved by just having your child put his or her hands together and pushing into their hands.

They can do this five to 10 times or as needed when they’re feeling wiggly in their seat.

They can also do this through their head, or they can do it through their chair, just pushing their bottom up off the seat of the chair, through their arms.

Another way to calm the body is called five finger breathing. This is just a good way I like to do deep breaths. So basically you’re going to put your hand out and use your finger of your other hand and go around each finger, breathing in when you go up your finger and out when you go down your finger and you’re going to complete this for all five fingers. This is going to help keep the mind calm and focused and we want to do this slowly.

Some alerting strategies when your child is having trouble sitting up straight or just getting really sleepy at their chair, can be jumping jacks, wheelbarrow walks, or if you have a yoga ball handy you can have your child just sit and bounce on the yoga ball. This is going to help alert the body. They can also use the yoga ball as a seat if they have the core strength to maintain their position and they’re able to keep their feet flat on the floor.

I hope these strategies help your child stay engaged during online learning.

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Medical Reviewer

Helen Phelan, OTR/L

Pediatric Occupational Therapist