Parenting isn’t easy under the best of circumstances, and it can be difficult to know how to support your child through such an unprecedented circumstance. Here’re some top tips on how to support your child’s schooling from home.
So many parents are worried to some extent about their children falling behind at school due to the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns over the past few months. We understand! An already packed school curriculum doesn’t really leave room for a week’s worth of flu, never mind months of interruption due to a global pandemic. And with most parents back at work either remotely or at the office, the risk of your child falling even further behind is very real.
The bad news? There’s not a lot you can do to speed up the course of the pandemic, or reopen schools faster.
The good news? There is A LOT that you can do to support your child’s schooling from home during this time.
How do I support my child if I’m not sure how to support myself?
The uncertainty and novelty of this situation has most of us reaching for our favourite self-care routine (which is a good thing, by the way!) Parenting isn’t easy under the best of circumstances, and it can be difficult to know how to support your child through such an unprecedented circumstance.
It’s important to remember that these are not normal times, and normal expectations that you have of yourself, your children and their education may be suspended. That said, kids dislike uncertainty even more than adults, and so any certainty that you can give them will help settle their anxiety. This can include making plans to go for a walk in nature on the weekend, setting up a schoolwork goal for the day, or getting your children involved in planning dinner for this evening.
Another way that you can support both yourself and your child is to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.
Is your happy-go-lucky child now anxious and withdrawn?
It might have been a real shock to you if your sunshine-child is now sulky, moody and prone to emotional outbursts. However, in this situation – we all are! The best way to support your child is to help them create new habits to help them adjust to online learning. You can also choose to reward bravery: if your child is too worried about COVID to be in a public place, encourage smaller acts of bravery, like taking a walk down the street with them, and build their confidence in this way. If these symptoms last for more than a few days, or are interrupting your child’s eating or sleeping patterns, it might be necessary to see an online child psychologist.
Feel bad that you don’t have the time to dedicate to my child’s schooling at home?
…or have the content knowledge, patience or space! But who does?
With all the stress that your whole family is under, falling behind at school is one more addition to a long list of things to worry about. It’s okay to not be able to spend 4-6 hours on your child’s education in between your own 9-5 job! However, if your child is too young or too easily distracted to benefit from online tutoring, it might be time to get some help. You can enlist the help of a dedicated, experienced tutor. They can come in 3-5 times a week to help keep on top of your child’s schoolwork. Plus they can help them with homework and problem areas. They can also supervise them during study breaks. This is a great way to support your child’s schooling from home.
If you’re unsure if you need a Learn@Home facilitator or a tutor, here’s a quick and easy way to decide.
Will things ever go back to ‘normal’?
Your child might want to know when they can stop wearing a mask, start playing with their friends, or having fun family outings that you used to have. It’s really important to be optimistic with your children, especially by modelling this behaviour yourself. While we don’t know when things will return to ‘normal’, you can help your child adapt to a new normal by making it fun, exciting, and not so scary.
What if my child is struggling to follow a curriculum at home?
This is very understandable. As much as children like routine, most enjoy the structured environment of a classroom which gives them clear expectations. With homeschooling being a new experience, they may miss this and struggle to adjust. A good way to build this in is to do a fun, structured course, such as a language Boot Camp. This will help reinforce the fact that learning is fun!
Learning support isn’t a “one size fits all”. Just like your child’s needs may be different from their friends’ or sibling’s needs. You know your child the best. Listen to them and to your gut and ask for help where and when you need it. This is one of the best ways to support your child’s learning and schooling at home.
Thanks to BrightSparkz Tutors for the above information. BrightSparkz Tutors has matched thousands of parents and learners with their ideal tutor for over a decade, and they’re confident that they can do the same for you.
Read our article on dealing with heavy school bags.