All major changes come with major challenges. Virtual education, or ‘school from home’ during the pandemic, has its own set of challenges. Challenges like: technology,connectivity, environment, motivation, health concerns, etc., To overcome these challenges, the schools and the homes need to synchronize their efforts for an enhanced learning experience for children.
School from home has led to a diversification of responsibilities for parents, especially. Naturally, when your child is ‘going to school’ virtually, you have a role to play in all of his/her activities except perhaps the delivery of academic content. From being the providers of resources to being supervisors of schedules to being motivators for your children, you need to be super multi-taskers.
To deal with the sentiment of ‘how to make ‘school from home’ work?’ here are some handy tips.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
The social environment schools create for children plays a special role in their learning process. Virtual learning cannot cope with the void that the absence of going to schools has created. As parents, it is a pressing need to register the difference between a child’s typical day at school and at home. With family members sharing their learning space, no friends and classmates to interact with, no recesses to enjoy with friends, no group activities to do; it is only natural that a child may feel demotivated at times or even very often. The child’s performance, behavior, and temperament may reflect it. To make remote learning a new normal in your home, acknowledge that it is a major change for you and even your child. Instead of reprimanding your child for performing poorly in a test, skipping a class or two or his /her inability to understand lessons, empathizing, and finding solutions together is a more positive approach. Encourage learning more than performing.
CREATE A LEARNING SPACE
The physical dimension of learning is as important as mental and emotional. The structure affects the vibe. When children go to school, there is an inherent sense of order, discipline, and regulation. No one has to remind them of these elements everyday. Therefore, demarcating a learning space for your child is essential. If a less spacious home doesn’t allow separate room space, any corner free from clutter and chaos is doable.Neatly arranging your child’s desk, keeping all books and notebooks together, keeping essential stationery handy for him/her can help improve the study space. Some family rules for work/ study from home can be put in place for better management.
COMMUNICATE A LOT
Interaction plays a crucial role in sound mental and emotional health, which in turn affects learning. To help your child deal with problems of change and adaptability, spend quality time talking to them. We ask our children many questions everyday, mostly to know if they have done what’s ‘expected of them.’ If we also start asking them questions like “how do you feel about this?” or “are you facing any trouble with anything?” more frequently, they might feel calmer than stressed, more confident than anxious.
GET IN TOUCH WITH TEACHERS
The learning process of a child engages both parents and teachers in a cooperative relationship. Therefore, the need to get in touch with teachers is now more than ever before. As teacherstoo, are dealing with new mediums to teach, they need strong feedback to improve their lessons. If you feel that lessons could be more engaging, homework could be simpler to manage, the pace of teaching could be sloweror faster; talk to the teachers. Not to interfere in their jobs unduly but only to reach out to them in your child’s best interest. Get in touch with teachers not only for feedback on their lessons but also to seek help for problems you may be facing with your child. They have seen your child in class; they know what works for him and whatnot. Now that you have to share their role, seeking helpful information from teachers is not a bad idea.!
We have tried to simulate classrooms in homes religiously and even replicated seemingly impossible elements for ‘authentic school experience.’ But, we have missed out on an integral element. Perhaps the most important one. Break. Going to school may have been an ordeal for many, but there was always the option of returning home! What now? There is no break for children. They can’t ‘come back’ to anywhere except perhaps their bed to nap and wake up to look at the same walls and same faces. Thus, it is much needed for you to give your child a good and heartful break. Please encourage them to do activities of their choice at this time. Let them be on their own.
Efforts must be made in a direction different from merely making a child sit in front of the screen by hook or by crook and consume online lessons. The focus has to be on factors that would make the child want to take lessons and want to learn.