Is Your Family Ready for the "New Normal" Next School Year?
Most schools have not resumed classes yet at this time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration, primarily the safety of students and teachers. The majority of parents wouldn't allow their children to go to school yet because of the risk to their health.
For schools that are able to shift classes from the classroom to the internet, there are a lot of necessary preparations. Teachers would need to upgrade their knowledge and skills to adopt online or virtual teaching. For other schools that are not ready for these changes, there's a need to assess and improvise.
Parents, on the other hand, would also play a major role in ensuring that their kids still get a good education. What do we need to do as parents to manage our child’s online learning from home?
Here's a checklist of things to consider to help your child make the most of learning from home.
We Need to Plan and Prepare
The school's mode of teaching would most likely include using internet-connected devices and materials or modules for completing the students' assignments. For three of my children, their schools have made announcements about taking on blended learning. There is no clear-cut detail yet regarding how this will be done. But I guess, the internet will have a lot to do with it.
Parents need to provide structure and motivation so that the kids will keep learning. Follow these strategies to develop an effective structure:
1. Make a schedule and space for your child.
It is advisable for your child to follow a study schedule, as much as possible. Your child should know that you expect him or her to be ready for classes on the appointed time each day.
Designate an area just for school. It may be a room or a section of the dining room table as long as it’s quiet and comfortable. Stock up on supplies like notebooks, pens, and art supplies.
If there will be virtual classes, then it is a must to have a device that is linked to a reliable internet connection at home. I know some families don't have access to these two things and so I'm hoping that the schools and the government are looking into this issue and find a way to address it.
2. Limit distractions.
Ban games and movies during class time. Imposing discipline is very important to ensure the most productive learning at home. Some children may like to learn with a little background music.
3. Make time for recess.
Let your child take breaks and lunch hours just like when going to school. It helps to recharge and be ready for other class sessions.
4. Allow virtual socializing.
How can your child still be social when studying from home? Technology can be used for group study sessions, video chats, and virtual playdates.
5. Contact your school.
Ask school officials and teachers about the most effective way to communicate with them and stay in touch regularly. Find out what resources are available for collaborating with other parents.
We Need to Strengthen Basic Study Skills
If you have a young learner, use this time to reinforce his or her study skills to learn effectively. Strong study skills are valuable not only now but in their future careers.
If you have older kids, they would probably be more independent and can follow their class requirements on their own. But still, check up on them and be there for them when they need help.
Here are some things that can be done for strengthening the study skills of your children:
1. Answer practice tests.
Many studies show that testing is one of the most productive ways to learn. Prepare questions or get some online and let your child answer it. If there's an available online quiz game related to the lesson, it would help them learn while having fun at the same time.
2. Conduct reviews.
Prepare for tests by going over past material on a regular basis. Your child is more likely to forget their lessons if they cram at the last minute.
3. Create outlines.
Identify key facts and major themes. Building a framework increases reading comprehension and strengthens writing skills. It also encourages critical thinking. You can do this for your child or if your child is old enough, you can ask him or her to do their outlines. Doing so, helps them learn better.
4. Proofread assignments.
Review your child’s completed assignments before they’re submitted. Make revisions together until they’re comfortable doing it on their own.
5. Evaluate your child's progress.
Give your child constructive feedback. Discuss teacher comments and test results. Ask your child to describe their strengths and weaknesses. Set specific goals like reading a certain number of pages each day or looking up unfamiliar vocabulary words.
Take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with your child. I know some parents are busy with their work or business, nevertheless, it's important to give some time to be with your child and ask about the progress of their learning from home.
If you can, make learning a fun activity that draws you closer together. You can reward your child’s efforts with prizes like stickers or their favorite dessert. Hang their artwork on your refrigerator door and applaud when they read you their book reports.
While the COVID pandemic has changed the circumstances, the importance of education remains the same. Help your child to gain knowledge and skills that will enable him or her to have a positive impact on the world.
What do you think are the problems you're facing as a parent with the forthcoming set up of education? Let me know in the comments below.