As COVID-19 has shut down brick and mortar schools in Nigeria since March, most of us parents, children and teachers have had to quickly adjust to online learning and remote education using online classroom tools like Google Classroom, video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet and even Instant Messaging Apps like WhatsApp. It looks like online learning has come to stay in Nigeria.
As parents are adjusting to this new scenario, it’s very important to help our children stay focused on learning and avoid overuse of games, social media and videos.
We know this is a stressful, unpredictable time for everyone, including families, parents and our precious children but we must help our children by providing them with structure, routine and be a positive force in their education.
So with that in mind, Pinefield Schools Lekki has put together5 tips for Parents as they adjust to the new reality of learning at home.
1. Digital quarantine
Limit your children’s mobile phones and tablets until their schoolwork is done satisfactorily, so the homework can receive their undivided attention.
Messaging features, apps and games are fun, but they can be very distracting.
Ideally if possible each child should have his or her dedicated laptop or device for maximum online learning.
2. Make space for learning
Children work best in a quiet, comfortable and dedicated space devoted to learning. This should be part of the house where they do not watch television or play games.
Parents watch out for any orthopaedic issues that may arise related to comfort and posture as they will be in their learning spaces for a couple of hours each day.
3. Monitor the (computer) monitor
In this new learning age, you can help by monitoring your children’s levels of interest and engagement in adapting to their home/school life.
What is the simplest way to do this? Be observant.
Look at children’s eyes to see if they are following along with the screen. Check if they’re taking notes or zoning out. Ask them questions at the end of lessons, while this may require extra effort and time on your part, it’s important to confirm that your children are indeed learning.
If your child is not engaging with the lessons, contact the school administrators or teachers to better explore the issue.
Sometimes, it may be technical problems such as bad audio, a poor connection, or an unhelpful camera angle hindering their concentration.
4. Digital Breaks
Children should take plenty of breaks from the screens in order to safeguard their eyes.
Set your phone alarms at intervals similar to a school bell and encourage them to get up, get some fresh air, stretch their bodies, or have a snack. The idea is that they should move.
5. Keep it old school
Too much screen time can have adverse impacts on young brains, so it’s essential to be extra careful especially with the little ones.
So we encourage a lot of reading of books and printing of materials from their computers.
Stimulate self-expression by having discussions with your children about what they are doing, and also encourage creative writing and imaginative storytelling.
A Bonus Tip!!!
Have dinner with the whole family on the dinner table at least twice a week. No television, no mobile phones, no tablets, no reading of newspapers or magazines during this family bonding dinner time. You will be amazed at how much you can learn from your children and vice versa.
Hope you liked our first 5 eLearning tips for you, please share with your family and friends.
We do not need to be fearful or panic during these times. We are all in it together and Pinefield Schools Lekki is always ready to guide and support our great future leaders of Africa and their proud Parents.