Children being home schooled miss out on social cues and connections with their age peers and teachers.
That’s why it is important that parents play a positive role in ensuring lockdown regulations do not get in the way of the plan to go the home schooling route.
Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, which specialises in educating parents, students and teachers about these complex aspects of life, said slowing down the learning process is a good starting point for parents.
He offers these six tips for supporting children learning in isolation.
- Have a structured routine on school days. It’s also important to have some “go-to” tasks that help them feel purpose and accomplishment, like making the bed every day, a hot bath, helping with cooking, and planning what things may make it more social or interesting.
- Social distancing means physical distancing, but doesn’t necessarily mean ceasing socialising. help your child set up regular Zoom calls with their friends and grandparents or other family members.
- Meal times are important. No devices ideally. Just ask your child about the highlights and lowlights of the day. And ask them just one thing they feel really grateful for. It’s a good way to remind them that while we are constrained, some nice things do still happen (a favourite TV show, chat to a friend, a walk with the dog, sunshine, food on the table).
- Basic health like a balanced diet, eight hours of sleep or more (depending on age), good hygiene and exercising will really help. It allows the body and mind to process the stress and replenish the battery.
- Encourage and help your child to take up a practice that relaxes and inspires them. For example, a simple morning exercise routine that they develop themselves, a regular leisure reading session, or kids can also try meditation. The headspace app has amazing animations to explain how our minds work and that it’s okay to have ups and downs, and how to create space for this.
- Encourage your child to ask for help. Let them know that the door is always open to chat – even if it’s not with you but with a trusted aunt, or a therapist. Another view is often very welcome.