Home schooling: An alternative approach
Home schooling children during the Lockdown will look different for every family and depend on different circumstances. In the age of social media, we can easily fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to our friends and invoke feelings of inadequacy of how we are handling things in our own homes. Parents who must work full time will not have the luxury of time to devote to colour coded schedules. The most Important thing to remember during these extraordinary times is to keep your family safe. Don’t put expectations too high, and remember, learning can take many different forms. It is not always academic.
It is important to understand that learning will depend on a family’s situation. A household headed by a single parent will be run differently than a house with multiple adults. The ages of children and age gaps also will play a role. Younger children who are more dependent on parents’ attention have different needs whereas older siblings could manage to do some learning independently. Some families may not have access to technology or have limited resources, which would greatly hinder progress. Children with special needs would pose their own challenges. In addition, families affected by the Coronavirus would have different priorities at this time.
Take this opportunity to have your children learn life skills. Perhaps during the mad morning rush of the school run, they never had time to make their bed, finish off their breakfast, or keep their rooms tidy. With all the huThe important thing to remember is to build family connection. If your mornings were rushed and the children never finished breakfast, or you never made it home from work by dinner time, now is the time to have all your meals together with meaningful conversations.
It is important that the children understand what is happening in the world. There are lots of age appropriate ways to explain the Coronavirus to young children. Please see the following resource on our website. http://www.buddywith.org.uk/resources/get/74
Allow the children unstructured time and see how they can keep themselves busy. You may discover you have a budding author or artist. Your child may show an increased interest in the kitchen and want to help you cook or bake. Another child may be concentrating on legos and their engineering mind will be at work. Other things you can teach them is DIY skills, gardening, how to mend clothes, and even homemade haircuts. Reading books, drawing, colouring, playing with play doh are other activities your children can do to unwind. Now is also a good time to find some hidden treasures around the house. A puzzle that has been in a box at the top of the cupboard for years or some toys that your oldest outgrew will now be treasures for your youngest.
If your children are getting frustrated with the lockdown and are bored, explain to them that they should feel blessed that they are safe with their family, while many others are unfortunately not so lucky and are grieving the loss of their loved ones. Show them the news in all parts of the world and see how different countries are managing in their lockdowns. See if there are any charitable opportunities you can get involved in. Now would also be a great time to talk about future careers and see what jobs they would like to do in order to help people. Have the children keep a journal where they write their thoughts and feelings so that they will be able to look back and remember that they survived a historical Pandemic.