As a parent, it is quite likely that the year 2020 has been one of the most challenging on record. Economic hardship paired with a medical disaster leaving many people uncertain of their futures has crippled the world. Many countries are suffering, unable to break from the cycle of losing money and losing lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As a parent, you might have gotten used to seeing your children more due to work and school closures. Many schools, though, are moving towards a (temporary) distance learning system.
How, then, can you help to prepare your children for this essential part of their education?
This is likely to be a medium-term solution until a COVID-19 treatment can be developed. With that in mind, we recommend that you look to prepare your child for distance learning. What, then, matters the most?
Create a comfortable learning space
You should first off look to build some kind of learning space for them, either in a spare room or in their bedroom. This should keep them free from distraction, whilst giving them all the space that they need to work on their schoolwork without any kind of interference.
Unless you are very lucky or in a very direct field of work, you have likely worked from home at some stage in 2020. You will know yourself how hard it can be to work at 100% if you have distractions littered around you. With that in mind, we recommend that you look to create a more comfortable learning space for your child.
This means they can learn and work on their projects without needless distraction, improving the results of their learning. It also allows them to focus on the topic at hand, free from distractions.
Work with your school
The next step is to make sure that you have a thorough line of communication with the school itself. This is essential as it allows you to both make judgements based on what is going to be most useful for your children. As a parent, you need to be ready to step in and make calls if you feel as if a decision if going to negatively impact your child.
Find out where they are most limited in their education, and try to find ways to work with your child on these subjects in particular. The more help that you can give them when they are at home, the more effective they are going to be in the future when it comes to dealing with a similar situation themselves.
We recommend that you parlay with their school to determine what can be done to make their lives easier.
Don’t try to step in as a teacher
While you might have a clear understanding of a subject, don’t try and become a surrogate teacher. Let your child follow the curriculum, and come to you when they have a need help. The moment you always try and step in to become a teacher, you are expected to fulfil the entire role of a teacher!
Try and make sure that your child is still having to solve problems and commit to finding solutions to the issues at hand on their own. The more that you can do this, the more likely they are to grow into a great little problem solver. Initiative and independent thought are the kinds of things that you will take from a child if you continue to do the work for them.
By all means, offer support, but ensure they are still learning on their own for their own benefit.
Find educational supporting tools
From online websites and apps on their smart devices, you have ample opportunity to help amplify learning for your child. We recommend that you look to find 3-5 different apps and websites that they can use after school hours to try and help them gain knowledge of a certain subject matter.
This is extremely useful if you are looking to help your child become a sponge, soaking up information throughout life. Try and put them in a situation where they will be able to learn after hours, using tools that are perhaps more informative and interactive than a textbook or a webinar with their teacher.
Supporting tools can go a long way to help your child become more confident in any given subject, whilst at the same time giving them a means of learning a subject that their textbooks cannot provide.
Prepare for technological burdens
Whether it comes down to one teacher preferring App A or App B, or you have an internet connection that can be inconsistent, you need to be ready for technological burdens. Even if your internet regularly cuts out, though, pre-preparing learning material in open internet tabs can help you to overcome that issue.
Try and sit down with your child and prepare everything that they would need for the day’s lessons on their internet tabs. The more they have open before the actual lessons begin, the more work they can do – even if the internet goes down, they can still stay informed and keep reading on the topics at hand.
Technological problems are going to become a significant issue and something that you need to be ready to work around without your child losing valuable learning time.
Don’t lose the social touch
Lastly, one of the most common problems during the learning process for your children is the social factor. Not being able to play with classmates and spend time with friends on their breaks can become a major issue. As such, try and find ways to compensate for your children not having social interaction during school hours by finding a compromise.
From Zoom calls with friends at night to some virtual gaming or similar, you should try and find ways to help your children retain that social enjoyment. After all, a massive part of school comes from social development as much as academic learning!
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