Education at home during coronavirus
A few tips on how to keep your sanity
Written by Minka Paraskevova, edited by Tamar Weisert, photo by Unsplash, illustrations by NPR.
Before our current situation, no one expected that their home would be turned into a school, a working office, and a playground. So, how do you make the transition into these things without losing your mind? Remember that it is as much an adjustment time for you as it is for your kids. So, try not to stress out, and instead, find a routine where you can all thrive.
First of all, remember that you are not trained to home-school your children, so trust that your school and authorities will prepare a manageable lesson routine. A piece of educational advice in the New York Times suggests that consistency helps students focus. A proper daily routine brings a handful of benefits. Children learn better when they know what to expect, parents and other caregivers can better share duties when there are clear guidelines, and the individual needs of a child can be addressed and met.
Next, organize your living space into as many areas as you need and keep them all clean and tidy. Most importantly, do not forget to communicate these changes to your family members and engage them in these decisions. An educational expert in The Independent points out that such family meetings are essential for keeping a healthy atmosphere while everybody is at home.
You may find yourself with hundreds of errands to run now. Stand firm and try to strike the right balance of work and relaxation. If you are a parent with children of multiple ages, then you have the extra challenge of coping with remote learning schedules. A good idea is to try to delegate tasks to older kids. Doing this will give them more responsibilities and boost their development in terms of autonomy and empathy, and perhaps will push them towards learning and applying new life skills.
The more time you spend with your child, the more opportunities you have to get to know them better. Online learning brings with it a lot of challenges. It could be more time consuming if you do not know where to look for information, and it also requires skills to work independently, which could be a bit daunting for your kids if they have not developed those abilities yet.
A lot of platforms and educational institutions online have offered free access to their resources. One of them is The National Literacy Trust, which launched an online zone for parents looking for ideas and activities while their children are at home due to school closures. It includes reading and writing activities, book lists, videos, competitions, and learning challenges.
"All work and no play make Jack a dull boy!" Remember this old saying? Children's attention spans are very fickle and expand with age. Staying in front of a screen for too long not only damages a person's eyesight, but it also builds a lot of pressure in the muscles and burdens the mind. So plan breaks that involve fun activities to release tension and relax the body and mind. To stay healthy, young and old alike should be doing both aerobic exercise and exercises to strengthen muscles and bones. A great place to look for fun activities is the Common Sense Media resource pack.
All comics used in this article are courtesy of NPR, narrated by Anya Kamenetz and illustrated by LA Johnson
Read more about kids' education during the pandemic in our One mom's homeschool guide.