The new school year is almost upon us and yet, kids and their parents are still unsure as to what will happen. This is because we’re still in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or even the general community quarantine (GCQ), schools are closed. This means that schools and even parents will have to deal with a new learning set up for the upcoming school year. And the best option seems to be online learning.
Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet and is also sometimes referred to as e-learning. Online learning is still different from homeschooling in the sense that the curriculum and teachers are still part of the online learning package, while in homeschooling, the parents function as the teachers. However, parents will still take on a more active role in online learning compared to traditional schools — and this is what parents should be prepared for in the coming months.
To put you at ease for the coming school days, here are a few tips on how you can navigate online learning with your kid like a pro:
Or better yet, quarantine their gadgets, screens, and other items that can distract them from learning. Help your child focus on their schoolwork and tasks for the day by limiting distractions and devices — except of course those that he needs to complete his work. You can still allow your child to play with his toys or use his device for things other than schoolwork granted that he finishes his work first.
Devote a space for learning
A dedicated space for learning can help your child in his schoolwork. And having one can also help you minimize distractions as ideally, his learning space should be different from the space where he can play, watch TV, or play video games. You can also equip this space with a comfortable table and chair, and everything he needs. If space is an issue, just ensure that the space he’ll use is still conducive to learning.
Set break times
Routines are important for kids so you can still set break times and snack times, just like his regular school day schedule. Kids typically function best if they maintain a routine as close to normal as possible. For break times, you can also encourage him to stretch, walk around, or even get some fresh air so that he can still be active.
Let him interact socially via video chats
Kids are typically exposed to a lot of social contact and activities in school, so this might be one of the things that they’ll miss during the quarantine and in online learning. You can help your child stay social by letting them stay in touch with their friends or classmates via video chats.
Do a combo of screen time and old-school learning
Screen time might have adverse effects on young kids, so it might be better to mix it up. Limit your child’s use of screens during break times, offer books, worksheets, or other activities instead. You can also discuss with your school or teachers if it would be possible for them to send out learning packets or materials that your child can also do which coincides with their online lessons.
Maintain contact with other parents
Just like your kids, it’s also important for you to maintain social contact as well during this time. And remember, you’re not the only one dealing with these changes, other parents are going through the same too. Check in with your child’s classmates’ parents as well. Swap stories and hacks, and help each other out as much as possible.
Maintain a schedule for everyone
This is important if you have multiple kids who will be doing online learning or if you’re also working from home because of the quarantine. First, experts recommend that kids should still follow the same or a similar sleep schedule as with regular school days. Having a set schedule can also help if you have multiple kids — as it will help kids take turns with needed resources such as a laptop. If the school or teachers did not provide a schedule that kids can follow, you can then ask your kids to set their own. You can help and guide them plot this out and even identify their goals, tasks, and deadlines. Setting these will provide them with a clear direction and show them that they still have tasks and responsibilities even when they’re at home.
Emphasize that this is not a vacation
Since the quarantine entails staying at home, it might feel like a vacation for your child. But remind them that it’s not. Explain and process the situation with them so that they can better understand the reason behind online learning. Then remind them about the importance of education and why they still need to work hard to fulfill their class lessons, assignments, and other responsibilities.
Also, make time for fun
It might be hard to not get caught up with school work and other tasks but also remember to try to have fun as well. Staying with your kids for long periods such as this is quite rare, so do try to use it to your advantage by taking the time to bond and have fun with them. Remember to take the weekends off from school work and you can even set aside a few minutes of fun breaks throughout the day.
Undertaking online learning might be another source of stress during an already stressful time such as the pandemic. But with the right attitude and preparation, you and your family can breeze through it. Stay safe and keep on learning.