The coronavirus pandemic has not only upended our lives, but it also disarrayed our children’s learning. Now, kids are being asked to study at home through online learning, email, modules, and packets sent out by their schools. If we had wanted to homeschool our kids, we should have done this a long time ago. But parents work hard to send their kids to the best school partly because their kids deserve the best and partly because we do not have the patience to teach them ourselves.
Now that there’s no day care center to send the kids to, parents are realizing how incredibly difficult the teachers’ jobs are. In fact, a number of parents jokingly say on Twitter that teaching should be the highest-paid job in the world. That’s how crazy it is to teach your own kids at home. But day care centers, at least for now, are in the past. You have to muster the courage and patience to teach your children their ABCs and 123s.
Create a Learning Space
Your children cannot learn in their bedroom or at the kitchen table. Even if you live in a small apartment, try to designate a corner of the room for them. Set this up as a quiet and clutter-free area where they will be focused to learn. The only way for your kids to be focused is to reduce the toys and clutter they see around them.
Stick to a Schedule
Set a schedule for your kids. For example, the morning should be for lessons, while the afternoon is reserved for playtime. Stick to this schedule even if it takes so much of your energy. Your kids need consistency at a time when everything in their lives seems to be unsure. People are also creatures of habit. Kids are no different.
Determine the Best System for Your Kids
Let your children guide you. Kids learn differently. Synchronous activities, for example, might work for other kids, but not for yours. Your kids may want to learn one-on-one with you. Adjust the activities according to their strengths. Are they more on the creative side? Do they learn more when they do activities, or are they most likely to listen to you while you teach them? It is going to be a journey to find the best learning experience for your kids.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Children are active and playful. Don’t expect them to sit down for two hours to listen to you talk about science. You need to find a way for them to move and go around the house. Perhaps you can hide “animals” under the couch and in the kitchen pantry for them to find and identify. You need to get them on their feet at least once every 15 minutes. Also, a series of exercise before the “class” can do good.
Reach out to Their Teachers
You may know your children better than anyone else, but there’s a reason these teachers have the “magic” to get through these kids. They studied, and they are experienced. Reach out to your kids’ teachers if you feel that you’ve hit a learning barrier or a roadblock. They can help you by giving you some advice or sending more learning materials that will help struggling students.
You have to be patient with your kids. Treat this time in your lives as a bonding experience, one that you won’t likely forget. As this is a new territory for you, allow yourself to make mistakes, too. Don’t berate yourself. Listen to your kids. Tell them that this is a strange setup for you, too, but you have to work together to succeed.