A little more than a year ago, the world changed dramatically. Education moved online, with digital learning helping to ensure learning continues uninterrupted.
However, one important change for young learners was the lack of face-to-face interactions. It is critical that children are happy, healthy, and motivated to make the most of online learning, and the responsibility of ensuring this falls on parents.
Hands-on learning experience is a significant part of the socio-emotional development of the child.
Here are some easy pointers you can practice:
1. Set a daily schedule
Help guide your child’s learning by creating a daily schedule that embraces online learning and follow-up self-learning.
Any senior family member, such as a parent or elder sibling, can help reinforce this. It is critical to continue the discipline of daily scheduled sessions similar to that in schools.
2. Encouraging social interactions
We can continue to stimulate our child’s development by creating small contact groups with classmates or friends.
While the focus might vary from simple discussions to social gatherings, such as online birthday celebrations, the idea is to encourage social interaction at all times.
3. Manage screen time
It is too easy for our little ones to immerse themselves in their gadgets. Thus, it is a parent’s responsibility to limit screen-time to productive activity, such as online schooling or connecting with friends and relatives.
Be selective with the online content that your child indulges in, and choose educational content and apps carefully.
4. Engage in physical activities
Your collection of old board games, art sheets, paintings, and puzzles can play a key part in your child’s learning process.
Use them to engage your child in more hands-on activities on a weekly basis.
Not only does the child learn to associate learning with fun, but it also helps build happy and lasting memories for the child as the family bonds over a game of Scrabble!
5. Learn something new
Children are naturally curious, so make the most of this by getting them to learn a new skill or a new language during their extended stay at home.
This will help them to create positive associations with this period of lockdown.
6. Explore the outdoors
As restrictions get eased, make the most of this opportunity to explore outdoor areas with your kids, such as parks or other play areas.
You will, of course, need to keep in mind that children observe Covid-19 appropriate behaviour at all times.
7. Pick up a book
With video and audio content on the rise, it is all too easy to forget the role reading plays in a child’s development.
Sign them up with a library, or create a book exchange club with close friends and relatives to encourage them to read more.
8. Help them practice writing
While online learning has been greatly beneficial in keeping education ongoing, it has taken away some of the more tactile aspects of learning, such as the skill of writing.
Make sure to set aside 20-30 minutes every day to help children write. Start with simple copy-writing exercises and gradually encourage the child to write creatively.
9. Be emotionally supportive
With lockdown and the transition to online learning, it is normal for children to feel a little lost, experience bouts of frustration, or even depression.
Let children express themselves freely, including through positive mediums such as art, poetry, or by maintaining a daily diary.
10. Prepare children for a return to school
As schools reopen, it is important to prepare students to return to classrooms. The transition may not be an easy one, given that online learning has its own perks of a shorter learning day and no direct supervision, but it is essential that children be ready for physical formats of learning.
While incorporating each idea mentioned here might be challenging, keeping them in mind will surely enrich each child’s learning experience, and help you better support them along their respective learning journeys.
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