Homeschooling During a Pandemic: 5 Tips for Parents

Parenting tips for homeschooling

Patrick Musyoka

May 24, 2021

Homeschooling During a Pandemic: 5 Tips for Parents

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, causing unparalleled disruption in people’s way of life, and schools are no exception. In a bid to keep the virus at bay, many countries opted to close their schools in the better part of 2020, and others extended closures into 2021.

According to UNESCO, there are currently 28 country-wide school closures worldwide, with over 221 million learners affected by the disruption. For instance, the UK schools are still closed following the introduction of the national lockdown on Jan 5 – except for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

Despite schools having shut down, learning must continue to keep children busy and educated. It is worth noting that keeping children out of school is not a calamity per se since children can still learn at home. And this regard, schools have had no option other than offering remote learning to children, and thus homeschooling has garnered much popularity worldwide.

Parents also have had to participate actively in the effective homeschooling of their children. They now spend more time educating their children or at least ensuring that children do what their school requires or assigns them.

The advent of digital tools and online educational programs make homeschooling easy for parents and children. However, not all children have access to these resources, and hence homeschooling may be an uphill task. More so, children of the African Diaspora may be more disadvantaged because of systemic inequalities in access to critical resources.

Nevertheless, parents have to ensure continuous learning for their children at home during these difficult times. Here are some expert tips for you as a parent to keep your child engaged, learning, and happy as they stay home due to the COVID-19 crisis.

1 - Plan and set priorities

Create a time table for your kid and prioritise the key subjects. You don't need to create a real school environment at home, but establishing a routine helps your child transition quickly. Also, involve the child in making the plan to get them interested in the set activities.

2 - Swap roles

After accomplishing a particular task or topic, flip the classroom setting and assume the role of student. Get your child to teach you what they have learned. This trick helps them to reflect and fosters their love for learning.

3 - Do what you can

If you are not a professional teacher, don’t be too harsh to yourself. Just stay positive and do what you can. Remember, even reading out to them is enough to improve their comprehension skills. Talking and reading are critical skills that do not require expertise or expensive devices.

4 - Set up a workstation

Children are used to learning in a structured environment in school, and creating a learning station at home helps them adjust quickly. If you can, set up a table, chairs, a computer, and headphones for your child's online sessions.

5 - Incorporate recess time

Make physical exercise part of the plan to keep your child active. Remember, your child was used to playing with friends during school breaks. Well, you don't need to invent new games at home. Turn on a YouTube video and shake a leg together, and you are good to go.

Homeschooling is critical for our children as the African Diaspora community during these unprecedented times of crisis. Our children at all levels of education require continuous learning so that they don't lag education-wise. To this end, WeAfric provides a platform for all descendants of Africa – both historical and continental African Diaspora – to engage with experts and share critical information on promoting successful homeschooling for our children. We acknowledge that education is our sure gateway to excellence and elevation of our community as a whole – and we can only achieve this if we work together.

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