AUSTIN (KXAN) — Scared your children will fall behind this fall?

Dr. Lindsay Elton, an Austin pediatric neurologist with Child Neurology Consultants, has four easy steps to keep kids focused and ready for online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1) Get kids on a morning routine as if they were physically going to class on campus.

“I tell my kids that it’s important to get up, get dressed, get breakfast. Just like you are going to get on the bus and go to school. That’s really a physical way of telling our brains and our bodies, ‘Hey it’s time to get up and go. We’ve got a job to do.’

2) Wear regular clothes.

“My message to family and kids is: No going to school in PJs all day long!” says Elton. “That sends the wrong message to our brains and body. You got to get up and get moving.”

3) Write down a schedule and let your kid see what’s expected of them that day.

“A lot of families have been doing a visual schedule for younger children with a whiteboard or something posted. The times for little kids are not so important as the sequence of the events.”

4) Time’s up: kids must know when online learning stops.

“I think it’s really important in the same way we have sort of a schedule for the day about how things are going to go, there needs to be a clear stop time. Otherwise it bleeds into the afternoon and kids don’t get that release to have unstructured time to play or go outside.”