Parenting tips on how to make Home-Schooling fun
during this lock down
What a crazy few months it has been! With almost the entire world on lock-down, the way people live, learn and work has changed completely. Our routine has been cut off and millions are working from home and schools are forced to suspend classes. Globally, children are getting used to their new classroom i.e, home with their laptops, iPads and their parents. Children are now switching to virtual classrooms where parents have to take the part of a teacher. From yoga classes to science lessons, schools in India are gearing up to impart online education for an indefinite period.
Home-schooling can very fun experience for children but most of the parents are not really overwhelmed with this because they have to work from home as well as take care of their children throughout. This is a very delicate balancing act and can be very stressful too. If you are one of them then my advice to you is not to stress. Parents are now trying to come up with ways that can keep children mentally engaged all the time.
Since lock-down has started, plenty of e-learning platforms have turned the tables around to ease the burden of home-schooling. They are taking lessons over YouTube and many more activities which help keeping their children engaged and also improve their skills.
Here are some tips for parents to help them make this home-schooling a fun experience for kids
1. Start early
Start home-schooling at the time their school used to start. If you let your child play or watch TV then it will be harder for them to sit down and concentrate which is probably isn’t their first choice. To help them concentrate better, you can give them a break every 30 minutes to get some fresh air.
2. Create their own school space
It is very important for them to have a school space and your child should know that area is only meant for studying and that shouldn’t be in the bed room because that is associated with relaxation. There should be no rules regarding how that school space should look like as children have different likes and dislikes. The learning space should be away from TV and video games and don’t make it an eating station.
3. Communicate well with your kids
Ask them what works for them. Yes, they want more screen time and no, that’s not what I mean. It is now that the parents have to realise the power of conversations that they need to have with their kids. Most adults think their kids are too young to discuss this topic but that is not always true. Kids are receptive to any topic, for say, asking “What is Corona” can be explained without being extremely dark about the topic.
Also, discuss the rules to be followed in home-schooling and this is what we are going to do. Take opinions from them and change it accordingly.
4. Let them read, lots and lots of it!
Usually, children that are good readers do better in school. Make sure they are reading every day and at the same time to have a structure for the day. This will help you organise the day well.
Even you can read out to them which helps them to improve their vocalblury and comprehension skills and get good reading habit which will stay with them throughout their life. Its okay for you to read out even if they are playing quietly, but make sure they are listening to you and for that you can ask them questions at the end.
5. Stay positive and keep it interesting
Current scenario is very tricky and there is huge impact on your child too. They miss their “normal school” and their friends. It is very important for you to take part and help them finish their work which is assigned to them. Children love when their parents teach them. So to keep that excitement high throughout, you should show interest in the subject you are talking about. Most importantly, never say you had a hard time learning this topic in your childhood. For say, you don’t like maths, if you tell your child “I can’t do maths” then they will probably think they can’t do it either. Understand the situation and keep the flexibility going.
6. Create a routine/Time-plan
Your child used to have proper schedule at school, you can do it at your home too. You cannot create the exact school environment but something similar would be sufficient for your child to work at home. Keep the lunch breaks and sleep schedule structured.
Give them the freedom to create a time table for a week and stick it somewhere near their work place and make sure everything is going as planned.
7. Let the creativity pop out!
Art and craft is very important which you cannot avoid during home schooling your child. They are many activities according to the age you can do together to keep your child engrossed.
Follow some DIY activity videos on YouTube or collect at the waste from your house and try to create something out of it.
8. Patience is the key
Don’t be a stern teacher but instead be a facilitator. While your child is into online lessons, you have to be with them for supervision. Ask your child whatever they have learned today and you can step into learner’s shoes.
9. Don't forget the recess time
Children will miss their physical activity during their break time with friends. You can incorporate dance in their regular routine, exercise, cycling, skipping and make sure your child is healthy.
Try PE with Joe on YouTube, hosted by UK fitness instructor Joe Wick, who streams daily 30-minute workouts aimed at kids.
10. Bring the outside world into your home and use technology more than just a screen time.
You have everything you need at your fingertips!
Many interesting and amazing places globally have set up virtual tours for free. So if we cannot take our kids to the zoo, why not bring the zoo to them?
11. Let your child lead
This is the time where life is not run by competition and try to listen to what your child has to say. Giving kids freedom to choose what they are learning keeps them motivated at home. They will never stop learning. People learn by observing the world around them uncertain of age. Children learn by seeing their mother exercise and father do the dishes or water the plants. It is also very important as a parent to give your child their own space and do whatever they are interested in.
12. Teach while you work.
For instance, help them understand the science behind nutrition while you are cooking or stick numbers to your stairs them make them do maths while going up or down the stair case. Teach them how you do the laundry, gardening, and many other real-life skills. Combining baking and maths makes it fun.
13. Break the routine
I’m sure your wondering why is this author suggesting me to have a routine and then break it! It’s not what it seems like. Routines are good and having a certain rhythm is necessary when everyone else is also working from home. But try breaking it sometimes, take up your dinner to the balcony, change of work space, do something which is not in the time table.
14. Never spoon-feed your children
This is one of the major tips to keep learning fun. Parents need to allow children to come up with solutions on their own to develop their thinking skills. If you spoon-feed them and give them all the solutions then it will not only prevent them from learning new things but also lose interest in learning.
15. Help them learn a new skill or find a new hobby
Be it growing own vegetables or trying out different recipes, encourage them in a new skill.
16. Limit screen time
Life is so wonderful seeing everything virtually but there is also plenty of negativity stuck on social media. It is very important children know what is going on out there and educate them in such aspect.
17. Create opportunities to catch up with friends
It’s a good idea to arrange a bonding time with friends. There are many apps such as Zoom, House-party, hangouts where they are spend “school breaks” together.
UNICEF lays down certain tips for parenting during these times.
These tips are laid down to help parents to mitigate the new (temporary) normal.
- One on One Time
- Keep it Positive
- Get structured
- Behaviour Change
- Keep calm and manage stress
- Talking about COVID-19
Few websites which help your children while Home-schooling
- The UN government shared these activities to help children learn about plastic waste. They help us make instruments with discarded bottles and a fashion show out of the waste. These are cost free and help you reduce the plastic waste. Click here to reach the website.
- BYJU’s– The learning app
- Skill share
- E-learning for kids
“Please remember that we all are in this unprecedented situation and this is not going to last forever. I’m not an expert and something that works for one child might not work for another but you can pick out bits and peices out of it which might be helpful to you. But what is more important is to use this time to bond with your kids and make long lasting memories with them”