Since there is still no available vaccine against COVID19, families are limited and encouraged to conduct online learning or learning at home as an alternative to going to school. Hence, traditional schools have adapted their curriculum and schedules to suit a home-based setup, sending out modules and holding virtual meetings as a substitute.
Learning at home in a conducive environment will have a positive impact on a child’s development. As a parent, how does one make sure that the quality of the child's learning at home is optimal? Below are some tips.
Create a ‘Learning at Home’ Setup that Fits your Lifestyle and Needs
Check if what you have in mind actually fits your lifestyle before you decide on your learning at home lesson plan. Here are some questions you may need to consider:
- Is a 9.00am session feasible if your child wakes up at 8.00am?
- Will you have time to prepare before you start the lesson?
- Are the materials you’re using age appropriate?
- Is it designed to be accomplished by your child in his/her current age?
As parents, you should ensure that your child gets the level of instruction and experience that’s needed1. In addition, it’s better to start simple and work your way up the complexities as you gain more confidence, step by step.
Create a schedule and stick to it
You should talk to the children first as these changes can be stressful for them. You should also discuss the schedule that you are going to implement and prepare them accordingly. Create a learning at home routine so that everyone is on the same page and knows what will happen at certain parts of the day. You should include snack and play breaks so it becomes fun and enjoyable as well. Make sure to be flexible with the schedule because it’s good for both your child's and your well being2.
Learning at Home: DIY or Online School?
This is a major question most parents are asking these days when their kids are learning at home. Should you tutor your child on your own? Or should you enroll your child in online distance learning? It really depends on the readiness and willingness of your child. Some students may find it hard to pay attention and respond to a teacher on screen. If you decide to do it yourself, then you better have access to the resources that are appropriate for your child’s developmental stage.
Learning at Home: Keep things exciting!
As your child is learning at home, it is inevitable that their “screen time” increases as well. You should make the most out of their "screen time" by imposing time limits and choose only quality content for your child3. You can also keep things exciting by doing off-screen activities that are designed to stimulate their creative abilities. These activities will surely make learning at home fun and interesting4.
Acknowledge Good Behavior
As much as your preparation is key for learning at home to succeed, so do the children's cooperation and willingness to learn and participate. When they do cooperate and accomplish something, you should acknowledge their good behavior and praise them. Children should be given words of encouragement to boost their morale and confidence. It reinforces their good behavior and makes them believe they can actually do what you’re asking them to do5.
Although the global pandemic has affected everyone, it has also presented parents with a wonderful opportunity to be more involved in their children’s developmental journey. Parents are able to see what their child needs and how exactly they respond to certain things and teaching styles through learning at home together.
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1 Homeschooling (2015). Retrieved on August 18, 2020 from https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/homeschool.html.
2 Help Children Learn at Home (2020). Retrieved August 18, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/learning.html.
3 Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak (2020). Retrieved August 18, 2020 from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Working-and-Learning-from-Home-COVID-19.aspx.
4 21 Fun Educational Games And Activities For Kids (2020). Retrieved on August 18, 2020 from https://www.momjunction.com/articles/engaging-educational-activities-kids_0086041/.
5 121 Words of Encouragemend for kids https://www.momjunction.com/articles/words-of-encouragement-for-kids_00402209/