Homeschooling is not something we have in Seychelles compared to many other countries. And I know lots of parents are wondering ‘how to cope with homeschooling’? In the last month, we have seen the majority of countries closing down schools and asking families to stay home and stay safe. All because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seychelles is no exception! All schools have closed and online classes have become the norm. Zoom, google classroom, WhatsApp, Instagram…any method that exists teachers are using to communicate with parents and students. Facing this pandemic raises a lot of questions for the education sector. Closing the school was an easy step. How do schools ensure that students are up-to-date with the work they are missing? What about households with no internet access? How do the schools find the time to complete the curriculum? And for you, as a parent, how can you cope with homeschooling?
Benefits of homeschooling
In a less chaotic state, homeschooling is great for kids who are constantly bullied or the needs of the child are not being met at the school. Many parents find that homeschooling ensures their child is free to pursue his or her dream. They help to nurture and develop whatever interest their child has.
Now, what about during recent times? This is the perfect time for us to check on what our children are doing and spend more time with them. It’s a known fact that children spend the largest part of the day with teachers. We are now able to have more bonding time, have conversations with our children about anything and everything. Kids grow up so fast! The cuddles, smooches, talks, and hugs get less while screen time increases. Working parents know the struggle of coming home, cooking dinner and squeezing time for our children. We rely on the teachers to help shape our children. But it’s all back in our hands now, for example, we now have time to talk about those little misbehaviours the teacher talked to us about but we didn’t believe.
It’s often hard to digest that our children are completely different when they leave home! When we meet with the teachers and hear about the negative activities, we do tend to judge the teacher a little bit
Coping with homeschooling
There are many benefits of homeschooling but parents who are not teachers are really feeling the pressure. All over social media, parents are expressing how hard and frustrating the process actually is. Many have added posts praising the teachers because they are only now realising how hard teaching is! At home, a parent has one, two or three little heads to homeschool, but at school, a teacher has between 15 and 30 kids in his or her class. Each child comes from a different social background and brings his or her own attitude to the classroom. A teacher has to cope with all of this!
Most schools have found ways to hand out work and funnily enough, parents are struggling with the various concepts. It’s a fact, work back then is nothing like work now! We end up stressed and frustrated with our child (I’m so guilty of this!) and the day is ruined!
Here’s are some for tips parents struggling with homeschooling.
- You need to know your child! If your child is a high flyer, then he works best independently, but always keep on eye on him. This is also true for older children. The younger learners and those who are also weaker academically will struggle the most with online learning. This is where you need to be right there with them and be patient! Remember your child is used to having someone constantly show him how something is done. He needs more of that from you now!
- If you have access to internet, planning ‘monitored’ online study sessions with friends will help! Especially for children who work better in groups.
- Resources are available all over the internet and schools will constantly ensure resources are being given out. Try not to stress so much! With the little ones, they are not supposed to be overworked. Learning through play is the best way for them. Youtube Kids has so many educational videos. Watch with them! Remember…bonding time!!
- Nurture your child’s passion! Does she love to dance? Does he enjoy football? Give them the room to explore more of these activities! Become involved in what your child loves. Show them online documentaries about their favorite dancer or athlete. Let them learn about dedication and what it takes to succeed.
- Have a dedicated space for homeschooling. Their room is not the best place because you are very likely to walk in and find them fast asleep! Somewhere you can easily check up on them is more ideal. When they are done, have a little basket or box where they can neatly stack everything for the next day.
- Don’t overwork them! Homeschooling isn’t like normally structure school. Be flexible in your hours! Let them sleep a little longer, let them play a little more. A maximum of four hours is more than enough. if you have a nice and safe outdoor space, don’t forget that outdoor learning is the best type of learning for any child.
- Homayoun says, “You don’t have to home school if it’s really going to cause severe emotional distress for everyone involved. And I think that’s really important for parents to hear right now because we all feel so much personal pressure.” In other words, be forgiving and allow yourself the time and space to breathe and be stress-free!
Just remember, use this time to bond and create new memories for your child! The most important activity is sharing the love between one another <3 Click here for some websites you can use with your little ones! And if you have children with special needs, I have a list of resources here!
For some extra reading on homeschooling check out these sites!