How To Support Your Child’s Learning During Covid-19
Your child’s learning during COVID-19 now looks very different with the closure of schools across the USA.
Parents across the country have launched themselves into the role of teacher alongside the already demanding role of parent.
We feel you so here’s some advice and home-schooling parenting tips, on how best to support your child’s learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Create A Routine
Experts in the areas of education and child psychology agree that children crave structure and routine. It makes them feel safe and secure, especially in these uncertain times.
With the loss of their classroom routine, the comradery of their peers and the schedule of their learning, many children may feel overwhelmed and anxious.
By setting a routine for the way your child’s learning during COVID-19 will look day to day, you will be able to set clear boundaries, monitor screen time and behaviour.
Setting up expectations the same way teachers do can be very beneficial.
A family meeting is a great place to start when setting the expectations for your child’s learning during COVID-19.
Talk with your children about any goals you all have for your time doing school from home.
Ask your child if there is anything they want to learn or ways they would like to learn.
Make a list and model setting some goals. Remember that learning encompasses more than just reading and writing.
Amanda Hall an elementary school teacher from Georgia and mom to two young boys, says, “Giving your children a voice and agency in their learning will allow them to take more ownership and guarantee a much better buy in. Your kids might also surprise you with their ideas and creativity!”
Creating a routine, especially a schedule of your child’s learning during COVDI-19 will give everyone in your household something to refer to when they are feeling off kilter.
A quick search of your socials will probably bring up a multitude of examples of visual schedules.
Remember to create something that reflects your family and your priorities and avoid comparison. You do you!
Ensure you are building in breaks for snacks, lunch and most importantly movement!
Students in a classroom are not expected to be switched on and learning 100% of the time.
Be aware of this when creating a routine that will work for your family. Spend as much time outside as you are able.
Try birdwatching, identifying the types of clouds in the sky or just playing a good old game of tag.
Set Up A Learning Space
If you haven’t already set up a learning space for your child’s learning during COVID-19, now is the time!
Here is a simple list of key considerations to help you on your way.
Give Them A Spot
Decide where the majority of learning will take place.
Will your child have their own desk?
Can you utilise the kitchen table or bench?
Do you share a space that allows you to work while they learn?
Whatever works for you, dedicate a space for your child’s learning during COVID-19.
You have decided on a spot now clean out the space together and get rid of as much clutter as possible. Only keep what is needed for your child’s learning during COVID-19.
Scientific studies have proven that a cluttered environment affects children’s ability to focus and concentrate.
Mcquillyn Smith, author and facilitator of ‘The Nesting Place’, says that ‘When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external’.
Decluttering experts all agree that, “less clutter means less stress”.
With the chaos of life outside your four walls, it’s more important than ever to keep the inside of your home, peaceful and stress-free.
Keep the chaos outside by modelling tidy work habits and making accessible, everything your child needs for their day.
Keep It Within Reach
Your child will need a variety of tools to participate in their learning such as;
- pencils or pens
- colouring pencils, markers, crayons
- glue or paste
- exercise books
- electronic device
When setting up your space, make sure that everything your child will need is easily within reach.
Use baskets, containers, shoeboxes, jars, whatever you have available to make sure all the tools they need are available.
This organisation now will have a huge impact on the ease and productivity of your child’s learning during COVID-19.
It might seem strange to mention reading when talking about setting up the learning environment but it really is vital to your child’s learning during COVID-19 to have a variety of quality reading material available.
Electronic or hard copy, there are a heap of free resources available out there right now!
Create A Rewards System
Simple reward systems work for children of all ages and can help keep your child’s learning during COVID-19 positive and exciting.
Having a reward system in place will allow you to encourage and recognise the effort and engagement of your child.
A basic sticker chart is good place to start. Your child can decorate a coloured piece of paper and have it displayed somewhere in the learning environment.
Decide together how stickers will be earnt. Explain the system to your child and ensure it is directly related to how you expect them to learn during COVID-19.
When we spoke to Amanda Hall, elementary teacher, she recommended framing your system with something similar to, “When you earn three stickers, you can have 20 minutes of free choice time. This is how you earn stickers…”
Give your child the chance to ask any questions and suggest the rewards they might like to earn.
The key here is to be consistent and clear with the way stickers and rewards are earnt.
Make It Fun
This is an unprecedented time in all of our lives but you can try to make your child’s learning during COVID-19 as fun and memorable as possible.
Teachers including Amanda Hall, elementary teacher and mom from Georgia, believe “that kids should enjoy, be enthusiastic and have fun while learning.”
Here’s 5 super easy ways to make your child’s learning during COVID-19 fun at home:
- Provide hands on learning opportunities
Pull out the Lego and the playdough.
- Let your child take the lead when playing
Children have wonderful imaginations. Dress up or make up some songs
- Make it colourful
Add some paint, food colouring, streamers or glitter.
- Model your own love of learning and play
Children are great at mirroring your actions. Model how you best learn.
- Make up learning games with your child
Grab a pack of cards or take some chalk outside.
Try to remember that just because they are not in the walls of a classroom does not mean they will stop learning.
Relax and explore new ways of learning at home during this time.
Be sure to check out our other blog posts for many more ideas.
With an educational background Alana loves the science behind child development. Her passion is the way in which children learn and grow. After an accident that ended her career as a teacher she has dedicated herself to studying child development. She has been learning styles to help influence teachers with the needs of different children. She hopes to one day have a big impact in this space and we are so lucky to have her as part of our writing team. Alana is mum to 3 young adults and loves being a big part in their life.