“Online Learning” has become a part of our daily routine. It seems like learning on the internet is here to stay even after things go back to normal from the ‘new normal.’ The ask on parents in much higher now than it has ever been before. The question that parents today are grappling with is how can we best support our children and their virtual learning? With our best intentions, is there something called too much support? How can we strike the perfect balance? Read on to find out-
If your child is 6 years and below:
Establish a relationship: talk to your child’s teacher and find out how much and what kind of support they would like from you during and after classes. Respect their rules and open a channel of communication with the teacher in case there are problems.
Work together: when your child’s online classes are going on, sit next to them and do some of your own work. This way you will be there in case they need support.
Body ready: ensure your child attends classes on a full tummy – give them a snack before class and keep a bottle of water ready. Let them go to the washroom before class so they don’t get disturbed during class. A physiologically happy body makes the mind ready to learn.
If your child is from 6 to 10 years:
Study space: assign a designated space for your child to attend online classes. This gives them a sense of regularity. Try to ensure that the space is quiet and distraction-free.
Build independence: refrain from translating or repeating instructions that the teacher has given. Let your child develop their listening and comprehension skills. Help your child organise their day in advance by discussing their homework. Agree on a time frame by when these tasks will be done.
Praise generously: children who work on their own will probably not get perfect grades, but you are doing them a favour in the long term by teaching them to be self-reliant. Remember to appreciate their effort verbally, by displaying their work at home or by sharing their successes with friends and family.
If your child is from 11 to 17 years:
Become a part of their world: research with them, watch documentaries together and have discussions on topics that they are studying; as a family. This will build trust and give an opportunity for you to spend time together.
Set ground rules mutually: agree on rules to be followed during class time – leave the mobile phone in the cupboard till classes are done. Sign a pledge at the beginning of the school year to avoid recurring arguments over the same topic.
Be a role model: be aware of the model you present, in the given situation, if you remain motivated and enthusiastic about their lessons or classes, your child will try to follow suit.
Remember that our children are going through this crisis with us. They have their own fears and feelings. Talk to them about what kind of support they need from you and start from there. We are all doing the best to maximize online learning; so let’s get on the same page or maybe the same website
-Krupa Raguram and Ridhima Somaiya, Teachers British Council