The face of schooling, as we knew it, has changed dramatically over the past year or so, with more parents having to home school their kids as a result of an unforeseen and insidious virus. Schools have had to close their doors to curb the spread of the Coronavirus and took to online schooling to ensure that students still had access to quality education.
While home is not a completely new concept, the number of kids who have been forced into it, is. These kids, who are accustomed to being in a classroom environment, may struggle to stay focused when suddenly mom is their teacher. So how can we help them to develop cognitive skills?
Introducing new ideas into the curriculum
School at home can be made more fun if you add new content to the curriculum. Find things that will add value to your child in the long term and slot them into the daily lessons. One such idea is learning coding, that will be useful to your child for the rest of his life. The ability to use coding will continue to be helpful throughout your child’s tertiary studies and into his lifetime chosen career.
According to Coder Kids, coding opens doors for those who have the ability, giving them skills that many can only dream of. Coding makes the user substantially more employable as well as increasing earning potential.
Ease up on the structure – just a little
While going to school every day is very structured, if we try too hard to push this sort of structure onto our kids, we will end up “losing” them in the home school classroom environment. Remember, you are “Mom” and it will take some time for your child to adjust to your role as a teacher too.
Set aside more hours in the day to cover schoolwork, but allow yourself, to a degree, to be led by your child’s receptiveness. If he seems to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, rather start later once he’s recovered his equilibrium a bit.
If he wakes up in a great mood and seems all set to start the day, you should start earlier to get schoolwork out of the way, so he can have more free time later.
Being “teacher” and mom can be challenging. Your kids may have some cheeky comments toward you, in a way they would never dream of speaking to their teacher. Remember that they are at home, and home is where they are usually completely relaxed and comfortable enough to be their true selves.
This is where it’s important to ensure that they realize that once “school starts,” there can be no cheeky chirps, no tantrums and no flouting the rules. They must treat you exactly as they would their teachers. But remember, you must also act like a teacher would and not use their “home” nicknames or terms of endearment during “school time.”
Making it fun
Learning can be so much fun if you use your imagination. If your child has to learn a poem or memorize something, try asking her to make it into a song. She can rap it or sing it, but she must include every word and all in their right places.
You may be surprised at how creative she can be and, once she has perfected her song, she will also have memorized the verse or the poem at the same time.
Looking for the positives
It may take some time, but you will find your rhythm and the new way of “doing” school will become part of the daily routine. Remember that before we were asked to shelter in place, we didn’t spend anywhere near enough time with our kids.
They were at school and were at work and they seemed to grow up overnight. You have now been given a chance to be much more involved in their lives; cherish it while it lasts.