Five Crucial Homeschooling Tips During COVID-19 Lockdown
Created by Bidemi Nelson Updated on Jul 09, 2020
With the global lockdown experienced due to the Covid_19 pandemic, many children have been out of touch with the usual modes of learning. Compounding matters is that many learning materials used by children are largely at school, leaving many parents clueless as to how and what to teach to their children. Children have the right and need for education and it must not be denied them even in the face of pandemics. This leads us to the necessity of homeschooling at this time especially with limited or no input from teachers and books. While some parents may discover that teaching their children can be daunting at this time and other holiday periods, here are some helpful tips that can assist parents during their teaching sessions with their children:
1. Create the Right Environment
The right environment starts with your mindset as a parent. You must yearn for your child to learn and you must yearn to teach while putting everything in order to achieve this. For instance, you must create a study area in your home which is properly illuminated and ventilated, alongside comfortable tables and chairs for reading and writing. If your home is not large enough, you can use any available space while switching off devices like phones and other electronic gadgets to eliminate distractions. Don’t forget to have a workable timetable that suits your teaching and your children’s learning needs. The mornings and early afternoons are great times for learning by children.
2. Revisit Old Notebooks and Textbooks
All children’s old notebooks and textbooks can help you come up with topics to teach your children and the good part is that these topics still fall under the school curriculum. Ask children questions about the topics they have been taught at school and investigate if your children thoroughly understand those topics. I love to explore this method of teaching with my children and it has helped me discover areas in their old textbooks which have not been covered by their teachers. It is also important to include non-academic topics such as gardening, artwork, dance and drama, among others in your teaching plans.
3. Use Learning Aids
Many parents are not professional teachers and as such must rely on learning aids to teach effectively. Making use of the internet can really help in showing children pictures and videos of what you are teaching them. In addition, doing short dramas or drawings can illustrate what children are learning better instead of just employing rote learning; which is predominantly used in some schools.
4. Use Cartoons
For parents who are still grappling with the points mentioned above, it is important you improvise. Make use of what your children love to teach them. I use cartoons to teach my children a lot. I give them notebooks to write new words and concepts from the cartoons they watch. I and my children then check these words and concepts in the dictionary or by using the internet. Furthermore, it is important to sieve the cartoons children watch such that at least 80% of these cartoons are educational and entertaining instead of just entertaining alone.
5. Teach Curiosity
It is important not to teach children like Zombies but to engage their minds by asking them a lot of questions and encouraging them to ask questions too. Children’s curiosity can be engaged by listening to local and international news content via television or radio with them or by reading some interesting parts of newspapers together with them. Continue the process by asking children questions on how to solve the problems highlighted and thereafter asking them to do a presentation on their solutions (pretending they are presidents or global leaders with the responsibility to solve those problems).
Parents should remember to motivate their children to learn and reward them when their teaching objectives are met. Parents should also remember to remove and stop all distractions during teaching, especially sending children on errands during teaching sessions. If children must use the internet, they must be closely monitored by family members and internet safety tips taught to them. This is not the time for too much television and games for children. It is a time to be actively engaging our children’s minds and beings by teaching via homeschooling.