With the widespread of coronavirus pandemic, global education has suffered a huge loss. According to the United Nations over 1.5 billion children and youth are currently out of schools or universities as nearly 165 countries implemented country-wide lockdown. (Source: Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19)
Even though this step was absolutely necessary to fight the pandemic, we cannot deny the fact that premature school closures have heavily impacted children. And therefore, to counteract lack of classroom education, parents all around the world resorted to homeschooling and online learning to support their children and continue their education through this difficult time.
During these challenging times, it is important to help your children get through the day with positivity, productivity, and continued education., Here are a few tips to help you navigate around your child’s learning needs:
1. Create a learning space
As kids continue their education from home, it becomes necessary to have a designated space where they can study and attend online classes. You should make sure this ‘designated space’ is comfortable and separated from the play or TV area so that your child can concentrate well and be productive throughout study time without any distractions.
2. Limit screen time
Since kids have a lot of screen exposure these days due to online classes, assignments submissions, and courses, it is important to reduce their screen time. Any extra screen time spent on TV or games should be avoided as longer exposure could be potentially harmful both physically as well as psychologically.
Try switching online games with fun board games which not only engage your child but also brings the entire family together. You can also mix up teaching techniques and print out hard copies of worksheets for them to solve.
3. Give them breaks
While it is recommended to create a schedule for your child similar to what they were used to following in school, do not forget to add breaks. Keeping time aside for ‘recess’, ‘games period’, and afternoon breaks, gives them time to refresh and re-energize after each online class just like they were used to in school. Also encourage them to stretch their legs every now and then.
4. Use Online Resources
During this time, parents have been continuously relying on online resources to help them homeschool children. There are many great platforms and websites that are providing online resources and educational content that will help kids continue their learning from home.
Prodigy is one such free educational math learning platform for students from class 1-8 that extensively covers all curriculum-aligned content for ICSE and CBSE boards. It is a very engaging and effective platform for children to practise and master their math skills, especially during the lockdown when every parent is implementing homeschooling.
5. Allow them to interact with friends
Don’t let your child miss out on social interaction during this period. Since they are used to conversing with their classmates at school, allow them to connect with them online through video calls and messaging. You can check with their parents and set up playdates through video calls while staying safe at home.
6. Don’t let children treat it like a vacation
Have a talk with your child about the seriousness of the situation and help them prioritize their health, safety and education during this time. Staying home for a long time might make your child feel demotivated and treat it like a long vacation but it is important that you keep reminding them of classes, tests, grades and help them concentrate on their studies, even at home.
Navigating your child’s education and learning needs during COVID lockdown can surely be challenging but once you put together a structured plan with a strategic approach towards homeschooling and co-curricular activities, it will help your child easily adapt to the changing environment, prioritize and become more focused.
If you’re looking for a structured approach you can use these above-mentioned tips to support your child during the lockdown. Implementing these in your kid’s daily schedule/routine will not only make their learning and other activities easier but also help you in managing your office work while working from home.
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