Tips for homeschooling during the pandemic

COVID-19 is still around, and many countries are heading towards a second wave. While in some places, schools and offices are reopening, parents have the choice between homeschooling their children or sending them to campus. It is a tough decision to make, as they both come with their set of advantages and disadvantages. While homeschooling is a safer option, as it means less exposure to the virus, it also means that the children would be socializing less with their peers. Homeschooling can be taxing for the working parents, as now they have to be teachers along with caregivers. Here are a few tips for the parents who pick the homeschooling option on how to make the ride a little smoother:

  1. Know your child. Different kids do best in different environments. If your child works best in group settings, setting up a group Zoom call with a peer might make him learn quicker. For those who thrive on one-on-one learning, having your complete attention to them might be best for them.
  2. Start a passion project. During school hours, it is best to pick a slot to work on something that your child is passionate about. It would keep the kid interested and excited during the day. It would also give the parent some off time, as kids would not need to keep them motivated for it. It could be baking, painting, dancing, or gardening.
  3. Take it slow. It is a new concept for many parents, so it is helpful if they take it slow. There is no rush to achieve all the goals. Sign the kids up for online classes like storytime, dance classes, or anything that they are interested in. It would allow you to work on their unique talents and keep them connected to their community as well.
  4. Set up a designated space for learning. Children may want to wander around while learning but having a designated area for learning makes them more productive. Make them pack their materials in a basket and take them to the learning space just like they do for school. When they finish, they can pack their things up and put them aside.
  5. Be flexible with the timings. During actual school hours, children are doing so many activities that they are not sitting behind the desk and learning for seven hours. It is best if parents keep flexible working hours for the children. Let them sleep in a little late. Aim for two working hours at a time, and then go outdoors for a break. Learning can happen beyond the classroom also.
  6. Set realistic goals together. If the kids are older, you can set up goals to achieve with them for the end of the school year. Having a goal is a motivating factor and keeps you on track. Parents can set up daily goals as well by creating a timetable for each day, just like in school.
  7. Allow children to have some unstructured time. It works wonders for the kids’ development. Having a routine all the time seldom lets them do things spontaneously. Let them be the decision-makers during the allotted unstructured time when they can go wild with their imaginations. It would let their creative ideas flow and make them learn how to follow their instincts. It is also a good opportunity for parents to grab a cup of coffee and sit back to relax. The pandemic is a stressful situation for everyone around the world, so taking care of ourselves is of utmost importance.
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