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Schooling at Home: A Guide for Parents

Schooling at Home: A Guide for Parents

25/6/2021

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. 

  1. Keep in mind the multiple responsibilities that you now have to play – please be kind to yourself and take the time to pause for a deep breath if you ever feel overwhelmed. You are doing the best you can, and it is good enough.
  2. Speak to your child about what is going on in a manner that is meaningful to them so that they understand why they must stay at home and why they can’t go to school or be with their friends. Help them to connect with their friends on the telephone or online or even nurture friendships with neighborhood children.   (The Conversation, 2020)
  3. Ensure that they have this time to play with siblings, with you or even a pet. Play is fun at any age. It can easily change the mood because play is usually accompanied by laughter.  We need to laugh with each other always but particularly right now as it improves the mood(Very well family, 2020)

 

Dinusha Wickremesekera

Counsellor - Child Psychology 

Child Psychology, Educational Psychology and Counselling 

Lecturer in Sociology, Psychology and International Relations

 

References:

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.