As working parents deal with schools closing because of the coronavirus, they have to step in as their children's teachers as well. TNS
Saleha Irfan, Senior Sub-Editor/Reporter
With schools closing all over the world due to coronavirus, parents are finding themselves acting as their children’s teachers as well. This is especially challenging for parents who are working from home. Balancing full-time work with childcare is not an easy feat. Add to that a teaching job, and you can prepare yourself for an early burnout.
Parents who have previously homeschooled their kids might not find it difficult to keep children occupied throughout the day, but for other others it may be quite a daunting task.
If you are a parent who is wondering how to keep your children engaged and up-to-date with their studies while all of you are at home, these guidelines will help:
1. Have a schedule
Setting a routine for the kids is key to keeping things organised. All you have to do is look at social media where a lot of suggested schedules have been circulating with time set aside for activities, learning and leisure.
Typically, you should give your kids about 30 minutes every morning to wake up and eat breakfast. Then, throughout the day, allot one-hour slots for learning where each hour can be devoted to one subject only. Set up 15-minute breaks in between the activities where the kids can choose to do whatever they want.
If you have kids of different ages, set up each of their schedules individually. Also, write these schedules on a dry erase board and walk them through what their day would look like. Allow the children to pick which subject they would like to work on at a specific time, for example, maybe your child would like to work on math later in the day.
2. Turn everything into a lesson or a contest
Since you are at home, take a look around to see what you can teach your children. You could assign them chores or teach them simple tasks like how to wash the dishes or water the plants. Make sure you only allocate a small amount of time, for example 10 minutes, to each task, so the lesson sticks. You could also set up reading or drawing competitions and whoever reads or draws the most gets to pick a fun activity for later in the evening, like which movie to watch or which board game to play.
3. Get crafting
Crafting time means messy time but don’t worry, no one is asking you to set up a complex project while taking a conference call. Just as an example, you could have your kids try a fun experiment like mixing baking soda with vinegar or shaving cream with food colouring. These are things most people have at home. You could set them up in the bathtub and let them have the time of their lives.
4. Save activities that take longer
If your kids like to play a long game like Jenga, Suspend, Connect 4 or Dominoes, save them for a time when you have to accomplish a big work task. The children can sit for an hour or more playing these games while you can get your work done without disturbance.
5. Give yourself a break
You’re not in this alone. As unusual as it may be, this situation is the new normal for everybody and no one expects you to be a superhero. Also, it helps to remember that each kid is different so if they don’t like an activity you recommended, don’t get discouraged. See what works best for your child so they can learn and have fun along the way.
Being home has thrown everyone’s schedule out of order which is why another challenge facing parents once school starts would be to reel in their children’s bedtimes.
Some children tend to fall behind in their homework because they are disorganised. Here are some tips that can help them organise their schoolwork and set a routine.
Sometimes children are involved in too many extracurricular activities, because of which, they may feel exhausted. If your child is experiencing any of these problems, have a look at their schedule to figure out the problem.
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