The role of parents in delivering education is more crucial than ever. Owing to the shift online, they are key to helping their children develop healthy learning behaviors. Educating your child at home comes with a few challenges that if managed properly, can maximize learning opportunities within restricted environments. As parents find themselves adopting a more immersive role in their children’s studies, educational institutions must extend support in the joint mission of lesson delivery and retention. Parents educating children is a new dimension to lesson delivery and it must be aligned with curriculum goals.
Kids learning from home have its advantages in terms of more control in what they learn, how they learn concepts and closer follow-ups. Outcome-based interactions between the educators and parents will lead to better investments of time and energy into educating the child. For some parents, stepping into the role of a second educator might seem intimidating since a lot could be at stake, especially when the child is in their formative years. We outline some tips for online learning for kids, to help parents transition more easily into the position.
Set boundaries of time and physical space
Children and parents have to share physical space to carry out their respective responsibilities at class and work. Creating a dedicated, quiet space for children to attend their classes can help reduce distractions and conflict of common activity timings. The goal is to increase focus and inspire learning in the home environment. In addition to physical space, the time spent on tuition must also be set. It is ideal for children to engage in other activities at home after their classes are over to separate them from their parents’ workstations.
Encourage learning through play
Interactive learning and gamification of concepts have been consistently proven for their efficiency to help a child learn better. For children, this could probably be the best way to keep them interested and engaged in the online delivery of lessons. With new technologies like augmented reality available on most web and mobile applications, it is easy for the parent to assess and choose the ones that will contribute the most to their learning.
Separate the roles of teacher and parent
At the end of the day, parents are not teachers and their part in educating their children is limited to the amount of time they spare for learning activities and their understanding of the methodologies most effective for lesson retention at each stage in the child’s learning process. The responsibility of ensuring a child meets his learning milestones is the mandate of the teacher with the parent facilitating learning. When such roles are not demarcated clearly, it can get overwhelming for parents if they feel they are the sole educator. There are several online articles on home learning tips for parents that can help them navigate through the process until schools are deemed safe to reopen.
Assess what supplementary courses your child can take
While most school curriculums include methodologies and teaching techniques to increase the understanding of concepts, some children might benefit from additional fun activities to reinforce lessons in an indirect way. For example, having an educational gaming app to improve motor and association skills. These are great means to keep children engaged with achievable outcomes.
Demarcate offline and online
Clear indications and enforcement about ‘on’ and ‘off’ time to children will help with device and information fatigue. Children need the help of parents to set these timetables into their daily routines and these times must be adhered to. By controlling screen time, children also understand that there is learning beyond the screen and rest is equally important.
Focus on physical activities
There needs to be special emphasis placed on physical activity, especially until schools reopen and children have access to exclusive play areas. Parents must do what they can to engage the child in a fun and creative games to increase overall well-being. Additionally, learning through a hands-on way makes a big difference to stabilize their moods, especially when they have no access to their peers or safe physical spaces.
Communication with children
It is important to keep lines of communication open between parents and children. If there are issues bothering children in relation to their mental health or any distractions they find difficult to cope with, they must be shared with parents so that early actions can be taken to alleviate the problem before it becomes unmanageable. The pandemic has affected children the most in various ways and their underlying needs have to be prioritized first in the household.
As families spend more time together than ever before, it could be a challenge to place boundaries for lessons and play. It works well if parents can administer study and play timings constructively with the supervision of lesson progress. Children learning at home are prone to distractions and knowing that a structure is in place for their daily activities will greatly help with managing their emotions and provide a sense of stability until it is safe for them to venture out into the physical world again, their favorite place of play.