Homeschooling strategies during lockdown

Homeschooling strategies during lockdown

 

As COVID-19 continues to cause havoc across Australia, thousands of schools have closed and have moved children to online learning at home.

We learnt during the last lockdown that full-time work, full-time parenting and full-time teaching can't all be done simultaneously! In this phase of so much uncertainty, how can we ensure children are learning and staying in a routine?

With a little preparation, you can make this a positive experience for both you and your children. Below are some tips and resources to help you keep children learning and engaged:

1.    Plan the day

While providing extra attention for your children at home can be challenging, a little planning will go a long way. Each night, ensure your child has a plan for the following day. This should involve aiming to get up at roughly the same time every day, eating well, exercising, and getting some much-needed fresh air. 

Creating a routine that is exactly like the one at school would be impractical, but it is possible to follow a similar structure, in the sense that you have one subject followed by another, with breaks in between. Parents should still leave some room for flexibility to avoid pursuing an overly controlled environment. This may lead to more stress and anxiety in children. It is therefore crucial to maintain a healthy balance.

2.    Provide education

Providing learning during this period is important to keep concepts fresh and create a sense of satisfaction for children. Many schools have made educational resources available online during COVID-19. For some schools, this might involve online lessons with your child’s normal teacher. Other schools have uploaded resources you can work through at home in your own time.

School teachers are experts. Even though these are unusual circumstances for them too, they do know how children learn, as well as what’s appropriate for their age and attention span. So, make the most of what they’re offering, and remember that when your children do get back to school, they won’t be expected to have covered lots of additional material on their own.

3.    Power of play

Aside from academics, it is important not to underestimate the power of play.  Infusing children’s life with play not only helps them to relax, but also ensures their well-being and healthy development.

You could even arrange an excursion without even leaving home! Take a trip to Mars (online), or to a Zoo to watch a live feeding for sea otters, penguins and sharks.

4.    Keep active

Creating and reinforcing healthy habits for your children can make a huge difference in your family’s day.  If possible, go for a run in the open air (complying with the social distancing guidelines), go for a walk in the yard, or, if it is raining, take the opportunity to practice yoga or other indoor activity. You can use the exercise as a break from study time.

5.    Add life skills to the curriculum

Not only does this help you out, but everyday tasks can be just as valuable as skills taught in the classroom. This is a great opportunity for teaching some basic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, home repairs, yard work, or even thank you card writing. 

6.    Offer rewards

Consider offering some rewards to encourage completion assignments – these aren’t ordinary days, and your kids maybe need an extra encouragement. Motivate them to make lists of movies they would like to watch or games they would like to play. There are several learning games that allow students to reinforce their knowledge while having fun – take a look on Blockly Games, or pHet Simulations.

Always remember you know your kids best and what works for your family is what matters most.

 

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