Last week brought it with headlines declaring that not only had remote learning been extended in some schools across the UAE, but in-person examinations have also been postponed until “at least January 28”. No parent will ever say that home schooling during this pandemic has been anything other than incredibly tough. Right?
And with a combination of the technical difficulties that come with getting several students on a Zoom call, ensuring children stay motivated and on-track with their studies, as well as ensuring their emotional needs are tended to, adding ‘teacher’ into the mix of rolesjuggled daily by a parent doesn’t make life any easier. To help parents navigate the return of remote learning, here are five key pointers that can help encourage children to keep a consistent and healthy home-schooling schedule.
1. The Stability of a Routine
One of the most important things for home schooling is to create a study schedule or structure at home. Routines help children feel safe, secure, and comfortable. A consistent step-by-step routine helps them comprehend the predictability of their day and allow for fewer disruptions to occur. Study routines also help children quickly accomplish day-to-day tasks that are required for school.
2. Encourage Them with Incentives
Make a list of what can encourage your child to stick to a home-schooling schedule. Buying a gift may not be a good idea as it may get financially difficult to keep it up, but things like ordering their favourite takeaway, choosing a movie on family movie night, or extra screen time over the weekends can help motivate a child. For younger children, you can make it a bit more fun by giving them gold stickers and, perhaps, they can take a longer break from schoolworkafter every third gold sticker. Incentivising your child can help them develop a sense of pride and self-confidence in the tasks that they have completed.
3. Take Time to Hear Them Out
Home schooling on Zoom calls can be hard for children, especially those who are used to a slower kind of learning, where they are able to interact face-to-face with a teacher and clear their doubts. Check in on your children to see if they are facing difficulties tackling their studies. It’s also an opportunity for you to spend quality time with them – perhaps you can teach them fractions using baking ingredients and bake cookies together? Or share tools that you may know on how to study and take notes better?
4. It’s Okay to Make a Few Screen-Time Concessions
Quarantine and home schooling are a new normal, so it is prudent to adjust your expectations of your children in order to help the family remain connected. If your child is struggling with a math assignment for a few hours, it’s okay to give them some additional screen time as a break. Mental health matters a lot, and it’s important that you avoid unnecessary conflict. Instead, aim to keep a healthy balance of indulgence, fun, and routine.
5. Allow Them to Have Some Fun
School time means fun conversations with friends, passing notes in class, and playing games during break time. Home schooling takes away the charm of regular school because it does not offer that fun environment. Let the children play in the backyard during recess or put on their favourite music – this can help add a dose of joy into their days.