The global pandemic that hit the world at the beginning of 2020 has already changed our lifestyles a lot. The majority of countries around the globe are currently in the lockdown, which means adults are encouraged to work remotely and kids are in the quarantine.
However, even though schools are shut, it does not mean that the educational process needs to stop. It is important that kids continue learning and continue covering the school program. The only difference is that given the current circumstances it is parents that need to take control over their kids’ studies and temporarily become their personal teachers.
At the very beginning of it, homeschooling during the quarantine can be rather difficult for both children and their parents, especially if neither of you had had this type of experience before. Nonetheless, if you approach the situation rationally, you will soon realize that it is easier than it seems. All you need to do in order to become an ideal teacher for your child during the Coronavirus quarantine is to calm down and follow some simple rules.
Create a Healthy and Positive Working Environment
One of the main reasons why actual educational institutions work so well when it comes to educating your child — apart from having specifically trained and highly-skilled teachers to deliver the information — is the fact that they promote a particular kind of environment.
Indeed, a considerable amount of scientific research suggests that a positive classroom environment has a significant effect not only on the process of student learning but also on the results of it. Children tend to understand, process and remember information better if they feel motivated to do so. One way of motivating students to learn new material is by keeping them disciplined and allowing them to feel supported at all times.
It is a known fact that the studying process can sometimes be rather challenging; we all have gone through both ups and downs of the school career and have experienced the struggles related to it. In fact, this is a normal part of the journey: in order to better their knowledge, students need to face certain challenges to tackle and problems to overcome. However, they should not be depressing and impossible to combat. On the contrary, students need to feel included in the process of solving those problems and have the motivation to do so, have a clear sense of belonging, and be encouraged to ask questions instead of accumulating the things they do not quite understand. All of that promotes positive learning and affect the effectiveness and the speed of the learning process.
On top of that, it is essential for students to know how to distribute their time and stick with the activity they are carrying out. The school does the job by having a set schedule with bells, breaks and the exact duration of classes as well as separate rooms for different classes.
While it is difficult if not completely impossible to replicate the classroom environment at home, in order to become an ideal teacher for their child during the Coronavirus quarantine, parents need to try their best and foster a healthy working atmosphere. There are several key things to consider when trying to do that.
Set Up a Working Space
One of the most important things to do when trying to homeschool your kid is to have a special place in your house where your child would study. It would be ideal to allocate a spare room just for studying, but it is understandable that not everyone has an opportunity to do that. If you do not have a room to spare, a simple desk for doing school work only would be good enough.
The trick is to draw an association between a particular part of your house and learning new material. By getting into a habit of having a designated area specifically for studying, your child will get into the productive headspace easier, and will overall be less distracted.
Differentiate Between You as a Parent and You as a Teacher
Another important thing to remember when trying to homeschool your children during this quarantine is that you need to differentiate between the working hours and leisure time. At school this is done easily since you physically travel from one building which associates with free time and fun, home, to another building dedicated specifically to working hard, school.
When quarantined in your house, however, this distinction can easily fade away. While you, of course, cannot pretend like you are a different person, and you definitely should not be doing that, you need to make sure that your kid knows that when it is studying time, they are not to get distracted by any other things.
When teaching your child, you need to be professional and focus on the subject you are trying to explain to your offspring. Especially since it will be hard for both of you to get used to the new roles.
Create a Set of Rules to Follow During Classes
At last but not at least, you need to make sure that you are consistent in your learning and do not waste your time.
A lot of people who choose to homeschool their children under normal circumstances and are not forced to do so by the quarantine say that the whole point of a home school is to have more freedom and not be confined by a certain schedule and textbooks.
However, if you are turning to homeschooling as a temporary solution, you might want to have some structure in your classes in order for both you and your kid to have the sense of ‘normal’.
This means that you should stick to the usual length of classes, have breaks and lunch. In addition to that, it will be good to ban phones for the duration of the lesson. Not only this would further reinforce the idea of a separate working space, but will also be extremely efficient as it will help your child to stay focused and not wander off.
Turn to Online Resources for Help
It is great if you have textbooks and other teaching materials to guide you throughout the journey. However, if you are not an experienced teacher and, perhaps, are lacking knowledge in some areas yourself, you might need to search for some additional information to both fill gaps in your knowledge and make it easier to explain the information to your child.
Access Teaching Resources
One of the best ways of tackling this problem is looking up teaching resources online. First of all, the internet is full of supporting content to use in your classes.
This is particularly important to use them as the textbook alone will likely not be sufficient to keep your child interested and focused. This is particularly relevant to those parents who have to homeschool primary and secondary school students during the quarantine. While older teenagers have some sense of direction and understand why they need to stay concentrated on work, younger kids can easily get bored with learning at home.
For this reason, you need to find some assisting materials to keep your lessons interactive and interesting. If the activities you do are repetitive, it will be harder to remember the information you are trying to deliver to your kids. Therefore, it is important for you to alternate the ways in which you deliver the facts. For instance, you could incorporate some visual materials such as videos and presentations found online into your lessons or use Quizlet for digital quizzes. Get creative with your approach to teaching and learning! After all, in the digital era, it is easier than it sounds, and you will get to learn something new with your child, too!
In addition to that, if you have no idea where to start and have not had any prior experience of teaching, you might want to look up some lesson plans for different subjects.
The only nuance when it comes to teaching resources is that a lot of them are paid. While there are plenty of free resources available online, a lot of them are only for short-term teaching and are not meant for longer use. However, if the lockdown lasts longer than initially announced, you might want to consider signing up to some platforms with premium resources.
Ask a More Experienced Teacher for Guidance
Remember that you are not alone in all this. Millions of parents across the world are currently in the same situation as you are, so they are all gathering into groups online (no contact, social distancing is key!) to share their tips and tricks with other fellow parents.
You might go on Facebook to search for the aforementioned groups and see whether someone is dealing with the same problems as you, or could suggest some fun alternative ways of handling the coronavirus quarantine homeschooling.
In addition to that, you can also turn to actual teachers for some guidance, too. You can either look for someone qualified on the web, contact the teachers from the school your child normally attends to see whether they would be able to offer any help or even search for tutors online.
Plan Your Lessons Effectively
In order to be an ideal teacher for your child and not be overwhelmed by the whole teaching thing, you need to remember that planning ahead is key to success!
It can be stressful at first, especially when you first see the amount of work you will have to cover, but believe us, it is not all that bad. If you break down the workload into smaller chunks, you will be able to structure effectively and prepare lessons in a way that would foster your child’s learning.
However, to be able to do that, you first need to get familiar with lesson planning as the only good lesson is that structured well. Before you get down to the actual learning, you will need to settle the following questions:
What are the objectives? Defining the objectives of each lesson is something that will be helpful for both you and your child. Your kid will understand what they are going to be educated on and therefore remember the information better, while you yourself will benefit from knowing your objectives in a way that you will not wander off the initial plan and cover everything you wanted to cover. Before you start your lesson, tell your child exactly what you are going to talk about and what skills your child will gain at the end of the lesson.
Do not go straight into the learning routine but rather dedicate some time to an overview first. It can be tempting to get straight down to the business, but the chances are your kid could end up being confused. In order to get them listening and focused, you need to start the lesson off from afar. Tell an engaging story, add in some exciting facts or get your kid to complete a worksheet to warm them up. That way, the information will be going into their brains easier. And do not forget to solidify their learnings with a quiz at the end of the lesson.
Be realistic. This is all about understanding yourself and your child. While it is, indeed, possible to teach a whole unit of physics in one sitting, it is unlikely that it will turn out to be an enjoyable experience. Instead, try to plan everything out in such a way that you would have smaller, more manageable chunks that will be more fun and interesting to learn. After all, it is all about consistency. As long as you keep a steady and comfortable pace, and are regular with your lessons, you will be great!
At last but not at least, you need to understand that you do not have to spent the whole day studying with your kid. While you need to plan your lessons in such a way that you would cover all the units by the time the quarantine is over, do not exhaust yourself and your child. After all, in these uncertain times, it is all about staying healthy and relaxed.
The bottom line is that with a little bit of extra effort and some additional resources, you can easily become an ideal teacher for your child during the Coronavirus quarantine even without having any previous experience of educating kids. Just make sure that you are consistent in your studies and keep your calm in this difficult situation!
Louis Robidoux is a blogger who enjoys writing articles that are of great interest to society. After having lots of posts published on different platforms, Louis decided to create his own site deeptop10.com where he’s covering topics about food, interesting hacks and lifestyle.