Since the pandemic began this past Spring, virtual school has become the new norm for students across the world. The switch over to virtual learning has been a silver lining amongst all the chaos, allowing students to not skip a beat in their education, all while remaining safe at home. While there are countless benefits to this new learning style, students now have to cope with a new issue…too much screen time! Screen time used to describe watching TV, scrolling through social media, or playing video games. Now a days, with most students spending at least 50% of their school week in front of a computer, too much screen time has taken on another meaning. We have compiled 5 creative ways on how students can take a screen time out:
- Stand Up & Stretch: Spending 7+ hours sitting in front of a computer can cause fatigue, eye strain and back pain. As simple as it may seem, standing up to stretch in-between classes is extremely important and can re-energize students to tackle the rest of the day. Try walking around your room, touching your toes, and even try some breathing exercises (all great things for musicians as well)!
- Reading: You can read a book, magazine, or even study the lyrics/notes to a new song your working on. Whatever you decide to do, your eyes will thank you for taking a break from the light of the computer.
- Practice Your Instrument: During your breaks in school is a great time to practice your instrument! Studies show that practicing music releases endorphins (aka the happy hormone), strengthens memory, reduces stress, and increases blood flow to the brain. Taking just 5-10 minutes to practice your instrument during the school day will not only give students a screen time break, but can also aid their learning for the rest of the day!
- Screen Free Lunch: Lunch is the perfect time to take a break from the computer. Opt to eat lunch in a different room of the house to get a change of scenery. On nice days, you can even eat your lunch outside!
- Exercise: It can de difficult to find the time to exercise while logged into school. However, just a few minutes of light exercise is beneficial to your body and will give you a much needed screen time break. Even if you only have time to do a few jumping jacks, or run around outside for 5 minutes, you will notice a difference!
We believe that the versatility of virtual learning will positively affect student’s education from now on. However, adding screen time breaks during your day is important and beneficial to having a healthy and successful school year. Did you know there are also some fun and creative ways to cope with virtual school while you are in class?! Take a look below:
- Use an exercise ball or yoga ball instead of a chair! This will help with posture and can be an easy way to work in some light exercise during class.
- Practice music techniques while in class! You can use a pencil to practice your bow hold, play imaginary piano scales on your desk, or even do vocal breathing exercises, all while in science class.
- Listen to music! There are many times during virtual school where students are quietly working on solo assignments. It has been proven that listening to certain genres of music, such as classical, can help students focus better and retain more information.
- Instead of typing, use a notebook to write your notes! Putting pen to paper is an extremely effective way of retaining information. Try making flash cards! This can help you memorize vocabulary words, formulas, and even music notes.
We know that school feels different this year, but we hope that some of these methods can help students of all ages cope with the new world of virtual education.
Have a Great School Year!