The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, as we wait collectively for the situation to improve. In the meantime, our lives have all been impacted significantly. As with many other countries, Singapore enforced a lockdown as part of measures taken to curtail the spread of the virus. During a lockdown, most citizens were not allowed to go to work or school. Most places, like malls and offices, were also shut down. Most of us are confined to our homes and can only leave for essential purposes.
Education is one sector that has been impacted greatly. Classes can no longer be done face-to-face, with most of schools implementing online classes in order to replace the usual face-to-face classroom learning. However, this new mode of learning is novel and comes with its own sets of challenges. As a result, some students are facing some difficulties with adapting to these changes. However, there are some things that we can do as parents in order to better facilitate this learning process and to help them transition effectively and smoothly into online learning. Here are some pointers:
Follow a schedule
Time management is essential during this period of time as your child might be more prone to distraction as things like toys and the television are now in closer proximity. They might also feel more relaxed and unmotivated to do work as they are in the comforts of their own home. To combat this, we can set up a time schedule for your child to follow. This will allow them to have a clearer idea of what to expect for the day ahead, and what they should accomplish for the day. It is also crucial to schedule breaks in between to allow them to recharge and relax before they start on work again. After a day’s work, you can also give vocal compliments or reward your child for following the schedule well. This will give them an added motivation to follow the schedule that you have set for them in future.
Setting up a designated study area
Classrooms are effective since the students know intuitively that it is a place to study and learn. As such, when they enter the classroom, children will subconsciously transition into a mindset of learning. Similarly, we can also craft out a designated study area at home so that your children will know that it is time to learn when they are in that area. It is important to also design this study area in such a way where it promotes learning. Preferably, it should be bright with good ventilation for the child to feel comfortable. Distractions should also be kept far away in this study area, so that they are able to better focus on their work.
Working closely with your children’s teachers
Teachers are usually more familiar with your children’s academic ability and how best to facilitate their learning. Hence, they might have some useful pointers, not only in setting up a designated study area at home, but also the most effective way to teach your child. Hence, it will be good to work closely with your child’s teacher so that your child’s learning experience is enhanced. Forming a support group with other parents is also recommended as it can be a platform where experiences, concerns and tips can be shared.
Keeping them active and busy
Children are naturally active and love to be outdoors. Excessive energy will cause them to be fidgety and unable to focus on their work. This might be an issue during this pandemic as most outdoor areas like parks and playgrounds are closed. Hence, we have to find ways for them to keep active while at home. This can be done by engaging them in various activities like baking, cooking or even exercising at home. There is a plethora of online videos that are offering tutorials in all of these areas. They can even be taught how to do simple household chores like sweeping the floor. This provides opportunities to teach them about initiative and responsibility as well. Lastly, with more time spent at home, this can be an excellent opportunity for them to discover new hobbies such as reading, painting or playing a musical instrument.