With no prior warning, children, teachers, and even parents were forced into using online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. A high number of nationwide positive COVID-19 test results combined with the unavailability of vaccine mean that students and teachers will spend significant periods away from school.
Therefore, those who are self-isolating face the prospect of distance learning for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, with a potential threat of a second wave of the pandemic and new variants being discovered, schools, both private and international, could close again for longer periods.
In this post, we have put together the following ideas for parents to help their kids learn at home.
Consider restricting kids’ access to their mobile phones and tablets until they have satisfactorily completed their schoolwork so that their attention is undivided while they learn.
It’s fun to have smartphones, games, and messaging functions, but they can prove distracting. It might not be a choice for everyone, but, preferably, try to give your children a dedicated computer for an optimal online learning experience, such as a school laptop.
In a peaceful, comfortable, and committed space devoted to learning, your children will concentrate and achieve their best work. Ideally, this will be a better set-up than where they usually play games or watch TV.
Bear in mind that for several hours a day, your child will be in this room. Therefore, you should watch out for any orthopaedic concerns that may occur related to comfort and posture.
You can assist by monitoring your children’s levels of interest and involvement in adjusting to their new schedule and at-home materials in this new learning environment.
Look at your child’s eyes to see if they are watching the screen when lessons are on. Check whether they’re writing notes or zoning out. At the end of a lecture, ask questions about what they understood. It is important to confirm that your kids are learning.
Ensure that your kids have ample time for breaks to exercise and time away from the screens. Set alarms like those at school and motivate them to get up, get some fresh air, go for a walk or bike ride, or have a snack so that they’re not sedentary all day long.
In-person interaction is necessary even for kids. So instead of merely browsing through social media, before it is safe for them to return to school, allow the children to video chat or text with their friends.
You don’t want your kids to feel socially withdrawn, but you also want to prevent them from being entirely dependent on their gadgets at the same time.
Sit down for face-to-face talks about screen time with your kids. Discuss how much time they believe is fair to spend online and make a deal, agreeing to goals for on-screen versus off-screen hours.
Extended screen time can have harmful effects on the brains of young kids, especially when allowed overtime. Therefore, it is important to be extra cautious when it comes to the little ones.
Parents should encourage reading hard copy books as much as possible.
If available, ask your child’s school for textbooks and other print resources to balance the amount of online learning they engage in. Moreover, it’s a good idea to encourage creative writing and imaginative storytelling with your kids.
Don’t forget to have fun and develop a sense of closeness and connection with your kids in everything that you do. Start with a quick and enjoyable experience just before they start their schoolwork. It could be a fun greeting, music, or dance.
You can also organise a tournament, family board games, charades, chess, or get outdoors after schoolwork for a hike or stroll together. Of course, you must follow your community’s rules surrounding healthy conduct and safe practices for COVID-19.