Regardless of their age, engaging and motivating children will always present challenges. Online classes have presented unique challenges - from a lack of motivation to confidence - teachers and coaches within the kid's activity industry are seeking new ways to encourage children to participate.
The responsibility for the success of online lessons is not solely down to your club. Each child is different, and many factors affect their motivation - from interest to confidence to patience - and your club needs to recognise this.
Some children will be resilient and exceed with online lessons while others will value face-to-face teaching. There is no set formula on how to increase motivation for online lessons, but one key ingredient is keeping children interested in your content. Here are 7 ways to keep children engaged in online learning:
Some children will lack motivation because they lack confidence. If you only hosted live sessions, try pre-recording class content where students can access it without having to be seen by others. Ask parents to send back a video of their child completing the task as this provides you with the chance to connect and provide constructive feedback.
Another critical factor in all of this is your team. If your staff aren't motivated to teach, then this could impact children's motivation to learn. Have regular check-ins with your team to see how they are coping as they will be finding this time challenging too.
Having regular meetings will allow you to evaluate how lessons are going on a week-to-week basis, and the chance to brainstorm as a team.
If you're lacking motivation, research and see what other clubs are doing well - monitoring other kids activity clubs is healthy. By doing this, you can find motivation and inspiration for class content you may not have considered before.
Complete Coaching over in the UK has made fantastic use of social media during this time by keeping their messaging upbeat and adding value for customers through interactive, fun and creative sessions.
Reduce Class Time
Consider reducing the time of your online lessons to keep attention spans engaged or have different lesson lengths based on age and ability. With younger children, you may reduce the teaching time but have another lesson during the week. With older children, your teaching time may be longer, but you may include a break for discussion. Try a variation for all classes and see what works best for both you and the kids.
Add Value to Lessons
Keeping skills up to date is essential, but why not add something different to your lessons? You could include a 'show and tell' time to lessons or a discussion time for a 'highlight of the week'. Create a space for conversation and socialising as this is what children are missing most during this time.
By now, you'll be familiar with adapting. But consider whether you have adjusted your lessons well enough to harmonise with virtual teaching? Look at what your competition is doing well and what trends are popular within the kid's activity industry. Remember that children are missing the social interaction with you, your staff and their friends.
Why not consider integrating various elements into your lessons each week for social interaction and fun? We've provided with some starting points for you to consider:
- Birthday Parties;
- Dance parties;
- Escape rooms;
- Storytelling/drama sessions (consider activity type and try to interpret into sessions) to create interaction;
- Scavenger hunt;
- Lunch session with games;
- Themed weeks;
Give yourself and children something to look forward to by planning for a virtual camp. Whatever you propose for your virtual camp, it needs to be interesting for children and beneficial for parents. Begin by creating a themed event and developing resource packs around this which can be delivered online. Carry out activities in a group setting which provides interaction for children.
For children to engage online, activities must be fun and provide the opportunity to socialise. Keeping skillsets up to date is crucial, but your club needs to understand what parts of 'normal life' children are missing. Use this as a chance to integrate different elements into your online teaching to motivate children.
For ideas on how to adapt your business model, get in touch with one of our friendly business coaches today.