Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.” As I have mentioned before, the pandemic has turned the world upside down from normalcy in just a matter of days. Educational institutions’ curriculum and routine went for a toss with the pandemic. Time-tables, after-school extracurriculars, tuition, and coaching classes changed entirely. Now, everything functions in a novel and different way.
Homeschooling in the traditional sense i.e. before the pandemic referred to the education of children that took place at home. Homeschooling children were not registered in school institutions and took to home education i.e. Elective Home Education (EHE). A different form of education with different modes and methods of learning, like Unschooling or School-in-a-Box method.
After the arrival of the pandemic, all of us have gotten a small taste of homeschooling, in the newer sense. Parents had to take to homeschooling this pandemic as they were left with little to no choice about how to go about teaching their children, whose primary form of education had shut down. As parents, we had to consider a variety of aspects when we had begun homeschooling.
It was not just the educational parts of the school that had changed, but also our children’s social life had gone for a toss. Yet another factor included the spending time, with almost a large chunk of the day, differing from 4-8 hours a day from institute to institute, children were left with a lot of time.
Homeschooling quickly became something that parents had to quickly learn how to manage this new form of teaching and learning for the betterment of their children’s education. Here is a list of dos and don’ts that might help with steering through this foreign road.
Homeschooling during the pandemic – Do’s
- Get to Know your Child
Every child is unique and different. Especially when it comes to how they learn. Some are slow-learners, some fast, some have a different method of memorization like reading out loud while some may use some other method for the same. So, when each child has their different take on how to study, it is important that we as parents also familiarise ourselves with the same. When we know how our child learns, we can teach our children better and in a customized manner.
- Make Use of Resources
Without teachers and other in-school activities like group projects, it may seem like a big leap to an unknown land. But, remember that there is a legion of resources that we can make use of to help our children. YouTube videos, online tutoring websites, online websites providing solutions regarding this, online tuition classes, one-on-one classes over Zoom or Google Meet etc. At the same time do not get heavily dependent on them, choose a few among the many that you think can help your child the best and stick to them.
- Make Time for Extracurriculars
Extracurriculars were a huge part of the school. Sports, drama, dance, music, etc were extracurriculars that our children used to take part in. But now with the pandemic, it doesn’t function the same way anymore. But a lot of these are also moving to an online platform like dance and music classes. So make sure that there is time in your routine for extracurriculars cause they are necessary and important.
Homeschooling during the pandemic – Don’ts
- Have Unrealistic Expectations
Our expectations from our children from an academic point of view should be achievable and realistic for our children. Understand the situation they are in, they are also confused and unclear on how to operate in this new situation. They will be trying their best to learn and perform well. But, as parents, we should ensure that we do not unnecessarily pressurize them and build tension.
- Be Hard on Yourself
It is very easy to feel stuck because you are unsure of what is right and wrong. Don’t be hard on yourself and remind yourself that you are also doing the best you can. It is okay for both you and your child to make mistakes as making mistakes is part of the learning process. Go easy on yourself, take breaks and relax your mind.
This applies on both ends. On one end, make an effort to not compare your children to other children in terms of how well they are studying or how well their performance has been. This is very demotivating and can be a burden on their overall academic performance. In such a strange situation, we as parents might also compare ourselves to other parents and doubt our abilities. This might lower your confidence and in turn, it might hamper our dealings with our kids. Trust yourself, and when in doubt you can and should always approach other parents and friends for help.
These do’s and don’ts are just my take on this and what I think might help, even if it might be in the smallest way. Remind yourself that you are not alone in this journey and it will get easier by the day. Also, read Parenting in Pandemic – How Much Screen Time Is Right For Kids?