COVID-19 has upended societal norms, forcing millions of people to remain confined in their homes and devastating healthcare systems all over the world. The pandemic has also rattled the education system, responsible for closing schools in repetitive cycles that leave children with no option but to go online for an e-learning approach to their semesters.
With the new Omicron variant spreading more rapidly than any wave of the pandemic previously, governments are, once again, forced to make a decision that will impact how children are taught in 2022. Many families spent the 2021 holiday season bracing themselves for another round of closed schools. In Ontario, for example, families anxiously await an update from the government mere days before schools are scheduled to reopen.
Let’s face the facts; we’re all beyond exhausted and fed up with the coronavirus pandemic. Our lives have all been impacted in one form or another by the spread of the virus. The effects on the health and well-being of children will be one of the unfortunate legacies of coronavirus.
How to teach children in lockdown
Should your child’s school be forced to close before sessions resume in 2022, it will benefit your entire family to prepare for another round of learning at home. If the schools do, in fact, reopen, you can resume your regular schedule without concern. However, as Omicron is more transmissible and expected to cause a spike in hospital admissions early in the new year, the alternative is just as likely. It’s better to be prepared than to scramble at the last minute.
Here are some simple steps you can follow to establish a productive learning environment in the home for the foreseeable future. All of these suggestions are fairly simple so use these ideas as a guide to create the environment best suited for your child.
Designate a quiet space in the house as the learning space
There’s a reason that each child has a desk in the classroom; it’s their designated workspace. The desk is a place for them to focus on their studies, complete their assignments, and undertake tests that come up throughout the year. Some schools have even introduced standing desks into the classroom to promote better posture and improved blood flow.
In your home, there may not be space for a designated classroom desk. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck though. Simply create a quiet space in your child’s bedroom or the living room where they use a table to support all of their learning materials. Make sure that you can set up a computer with internet access in this space, and that you leave plenty of room for the children to use their books so they can follow along with lesson plans.
If possible, try to avoid an area with other distractions, like the TV; this will help your children remain focused on their studies. The classroom desk has no other distractions around to help children concentrate on the task at hand. Try to provide a similar environment to promote healthy learning.
Create a healthy routine for your entire household
One of the benefits of a school is that children are placed into a structured daily routine. The areas of study are blocked out into different time blocks so that each child understands what they’ll learn and when throughout the day. The lesson plans are structured to accommodate the time window for each area of study, allowing children to learn the habits of the routine.
If your children are confined to learning at home, the routine should extend beyond their time e-learning on the computer. Families have found that creating household routines during the COVID-19 lockdowns (during school shutdowns or full-on closures) have helped all members of the household maintain productivity during this abrupt disruption in their lives. It also sets an example for the children themselves as they see their parents adapt to the unusual situation by enforcing a structured environment in the home.
Don’t feel guilty if you can’t play teacher
Some parents feel an obligation to function as a substitute teacher for their children during lockdowns. They feel a sense of duty and responsibility to go through the curriculum and help their children keep up with the learning requirements so that they don’t fall behind.
Unfortunately, not everyone is suited to function as a teacher, full-time or part-time. Teachers undergo years of specialized training to develop lesson plans, create interesting narratives from the learning material, and how to evaluate performance to maximize a child’s learning potential. Those skills and knowledge can’t be learned overnight.
If you feel like you’re unable to live up to the example of a full-time teacher, don’t let that get you down. Remember that everyone is adapting to the most recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fly. Don’t pressure yourself to feel like you need to wear all hats at once. Everything takes time to get right.
Look for outside e-learning support
If teaching is not your forte, there’s no need to fret. There are services like those provided by Sapphire Studies that you can use to help your child learn in a manner that aligns with their innate learning styles.
At Sapphire Studies, we help your children reinforce their own strengths and unlearn their perceived weaknesses with custom e-learning programs tailored to their specific needs. We identify the gaps in their existing programs so that they can grasp the skills that will allow them to reach their full learning potential.
With Sapphire Studies, your child will gain the self-confidence they need to process new information. As a parent, you can receive the assurance that your child is in great hands to further their educational prospects.
If you’d like to learn more about our custom learning programs, please book a call with our Founder and Chief Learning Officer to discuss your child’s unique needs.