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10 Tips to encourage ‘Learn from Home’ for Kids during Lockdown21
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The world is now fighting the greatest wars of all time with an unknown enemy, COVID-19. It is one of the greatest global pandemics brewing now, which managed to establish its hold in more than 150 countriesacross the world. During this emergency outbreak, when most of the private sector companies decided to give work from home for their employees, so did all the educational institutions decide to shut down schools and colleges This in turn turned out to be a happy moment for all the children who had to appear for their final examinations or the final days before they were to break for summers. At the same time, it might be a terrifying thought for all those parents who might be thinking: How on earth can we make ‘study from home’ fruitful? I am sure that you are combing out ideas to keep your kids engaged but what about they using some of their time to learn from home?
Parents all across the world are currently in the position, where they adequately need to home-school their kids simultaneously while dealing with their own adult responsibilities. That’s an unexpected and unnerving task; however there are ways to work it out. The most important and challenging task is to get them to stick to a timetable.
Make a creatively oriented timetable not just for children, but also for the entire family, right from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night.
If you are trying to figure out how to create a timetable and get your kids to learn just the way you are working from home, then look below for some tips:
Setting up expectations, just like teachers do in the school can be gainful to kids. It can help to establish organized and structured slots. You can include rules just the same way as it is in school, such as right dressing, following manners like respect towards members who are at home, managing few chores to be more responsible member, etc. This can help make it easier for everyone without the need of getting into power struggles.
If you are thinking of reinventing the wheel to help your child learn the fundamentals of an important subject, then you need not worry about it, as there are numerous online learning programs available for children according to their age. Parents can turn in to such resources for your children, which will ensure that the children remain engaged in their learning process even at their homes. What needs attention is how to create designated time slots as mind you, they can be quite alluring and get your child loathe around the tablet for the entire day. Hence, a fixed amount of time needs to be followed for using the online resources. Adhering to a schedule that is almost similar to the one they have at school is probably a good and safe shot. If they are getting up at the same time they usually do while going to school, and having lunch at the same time they usually do, it will feel more like their regular school routines. Remember, children stray lesser with regular routines and are easily ‘managed’ and ‘engaged’ with such patterns that they are more familiar with.
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It is useful to separate and isolate ‘screen time for school’ from screen time for relaxation. So encourage children to shift gears with some physical signs – for example, let them use a computer at a desk for schoolwork and later watch a film or cartoon on the TV while sitting and relaxing on the couch. Physical space setting is also equally important while providing screen time. A designated study or reference area is highly effective to increase their focus. Having family movie nights can make screen time an opportunity to connect rather than just spacing out.
As a parent, you have a bit of leeway on teachers, because of how much you already know about your kids. Reflect upon how and when they learn best. Are they most attentive in the morning or do they work best in the afternoon? Is there anything in particular that really inspires them to buckle down? That is all helpful information to place into your timetable.
And while parents are clearly accountable for the timetable, it is likewise a good and smart thought to give kids some input too in the form of some interesting and surprising facts. Investing a little more time and energy on the subjects they are most keen on and not the ones that you feel so, can keep them engaged and offer a huge amount of educational and social advantages. Learning can only go exponential when right intention and triggers come together.
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Children need breaks too. Make a point to include free time, lone time and outdoor play so that children can recharge, relax and have a fabulous time. A quick and short break can work wonders for both your patience and their ability to get through the work they were given. You need to be firm on breaks, which will help to reinforce the value of learning time. If you can equalize this time with the break time of other families, then the children could recover some of the elements of social interaction and communication by speaking to other kids and having some playtime. Do not forget to keep some family time breaks too for social bonding.
This is the best time to imbibe and develop reading skills in children. Let children pick books of their choice. Following a child’s interest is more important than recognizing the correct reading level. When they are motivated by their own curiosity and interest, they can extend their reading comprehension. Also do not reject graphic novels like comics. They are great to begin with for hesitant readers and eager bookworms alike. I still remember those fond and lazy afternoons with Archies and Tinkle Comics; how I miss them even today!
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These are unexpected and extraordinary occasions, so urge children to record whatever is happening in their lives. A daily diary helps them to monitor not only just their day-to-day events but also their thoughts and feelings about it. If that is not your child’s cup of tea, then suggest them to write out a script of any play or a short fictional story. Utilize this time to help your children find the joy in writing. Writing can be real fun! You can look out for creative ways to make the process of writing more enjoyable for your children.
This is an exceptional situation and most parents do not have experience in handling this situation. So give yourself a break if anyone of you doesn’t adhere precisely to the timetable. Set some reasonable and realistic goals for yourself. Trying to conquer the whole curriculum will probably make you and your child worried. Instead, you can prioritize the core curriculum. There will be lots of creative ways to cover the rest of the curriculum. You can allot fixed number of hours per day for each subject depending upon the intensity and the importance of the lessons. Performance pressure will only get all the efforts go down the drain.
There are actually some advantages to spending all this time together. You can find play way methods of learning which will help you to get creative in the process. These play way activities can include getting kids to put on role-plays, give teach-backs to their parents on some of their favorite subjects or creating some word games or puzzles. Lots of things that aren’t particularly academic can be learning opportunities like strolling around the house and arranging the household items as per their categories of purpose and use.
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As much as children love to speak, if you allocate few minutes of the daily timetable to speak in a structured way to channelize their creative thoughts. Most of the times, parents are in telling mode and not asking mode. Ask your children more of Whats and see how their thoughts will come out! A roleplay in kitchen space can get them to visualize themselves as chefs and speak about the food. Or a simple act of five minutes of speaking time on any topic will do the trick.
Make sure that you stick to this timetable. Try to see this weird and difficult time together as an opportunity. The activities and exercises that energize kids will in general be the ones they gain from most effectively. If it’s engaging, they will gain from it. In fact, the more engaged they are, they will be lesser irritable and difficult to manage in these grueling periods. Remember, their world has also gone topsy-turvy as much as yours and a little support and attention will catalyze great learning for both of you.
Relax. This quarantine break for all will end and life will in the end come back to normal. But in the meantime, you might spark learning that endures forever. And hey, you might be in for a greater surprise that these times will bring out the best out of them as much as from you.
Also read: 3 Robust Steps to Becoming a More Disciplined English Learner
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