Social interactions and play are important for a child's physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. In school, especially from Grade 1 to Grade 6 children marks the beginning of leaving behind learning through play for formal learning and continue to build on foundational skills like mathematics, reading, writing and comprehension while adding subjects like science and training logical thinking and problem-solving skills. During this period, a lot of time with their peers and friendships are formed in the process. These two factors: learning content under a teacher’s direction in formal learning environments and spending time and interacting with similar age or same-age peers have been affected by almost more than a year of schooling from home due to the pandemic. (Very well family, 2020)
Schooling since March 2020 has been marked with uncertainty. When would school re-start again? The physical space of a school has been only a rarity over the past year with online schooling made available to cover the syllabus. Children must focus on and absorb new knowledge and skills without the physical presence of a teacher. This is hard, particularly for this age group – as it’s tempting to do something outside the range of the camera and the teacher has little power to pull back the child’s attention.
Schooling from home has new responsibilities for stay at home/working parents who have to supervise and assist this learning process. For a work from home parent, this means balancing office work, housework and now schoolwork and not just homework and for stay at home parents; it applies the same to adjust in between their regular routine. This can be exhausting for parents and children so maintaining a balanced diet accompanied with the right nutrients is important to replenish the energy levels and stay ACTIVE throughout the day.
As a parent, there might be fears with talking on teacher –like roles in helping their child understand and apply their learnings to the best of their ability and could question their level of teaching given the context of classrooms and teachers being virtual.
These three principles can help navigate you, which are highlighted below.
Counsellor - Child Psychology
Child Psychology, Educational Psychology and Counselling
Lecturer in Sociology, Psychology and International Relations
Gordon, S. (2020). How COVID-19 Is Impacting Kids' Friendships. Available: https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-covid-19-is-impacting-kids-friendships-5072921. Last accessed 22nd May 2021.
Aikins, J.W. (2020). Neighbourhood-based friendships making a comeback for kids in the age of coronavirus. Available: https://theconversation.com/neighborhood-based-friendships-making-a-comeback-for-kids-in-the-age-of-coronavirus-139180. Last accessed 22nd May 2021.
Rudy. L.J. (2020). Extracurricular Activities for Kids with Special Needs. Available: https://www.verywellfamily.com/extracurricular-activities-for-kids-with-special-needs-4143299. Last accessed 22nd May 2021.