The recent coronavirus outbreak has caused schools all over INDIA to adapt to Remote Learning. This is a great way to reduce the spread of the virus but it does require parents to step into a homeschooling role. As parents balance working from home themselves, they are also challenged with ensuring their children receive the proper education while school doors are closed.
Parents, know that, during this time, you are not alone! Parents, teachers, and students across the country are facing the same challenges as one unified team.
During this time of uncertainty, your outlook towards online learning is the most important thing. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude and your child will do the same! We talked to parents and educators to put together this parent’s guide to help students learn both remotely and effectively.
What is Home-Learning Balance?
As students across the country adapt to online learning, parents are creating an environment for their children to learn from home. Students typically go to school so they can put everything aside and focus on learning. As those lines blur, it is important to create guidelines for students to learn from home. A home-learning balance is simply drawing the line between what is learning time and home time.
Without after school activities, playdates, and daycare, children will be looking for other ways to entertain themselves. You have made it your life goal to ensure your children are happy and busy! Without their normal activities, it is important they find other ways to stay happy, healthy, and engaged while at home.
By creating a home-learning environment with the right tools and resources, you will see your child will thrive at home! The best part is that you get to watch it happen.
How to Create a Home-Learning Environment
- Create a Designated Learning Space
Wherever you decide to let your child set up, create a designated workspace at home. Associate that area with learning only for the time being. Try talking with your child about how this is their “work from home” desk! Just like their desk at school but at home. You can try to set this area up like their school desk by removing any home clutter. Consider adding items to the area that the student might need like a pencil case, calculator, and extra paper. Students should feel comfortable and have a sense of ownership to their home learning space.
- Choose the Right Learning Space
It is easy to want to let your child learn from their bedroom, playroom, or the couch while you also work from home. Choose a designated learning space that allows your child to feel a sense of ownership and empowerment when they sit down to learn! You can try having them work alongside you at the kitchen table so they can see how you work from home! It is important to find a neutral space with limited distractions where you can check in periodically. When children go to school, we as parents are able to feel secure that they are being supervised. Same goes for your home. Now that our parent role has turned into a combination of parent and teacher, the responsibility lies on us to make sure they are engaged and learning. Once you choose your designated learning space, make sure your student feels comfortable learning there!
What You Will Need
- In-Home WiFi
Remote learning has one major requirement: in-home wifi. Not everyone has access to in-home wifi,so any internet enabled device is helpful.
- Web-Accessible Device
If teachers are using online platforms to connect with their students, it is important that students have access to a computer, laptop, tablet, or even smartphone. Ask friends and family if they have any extra devices around the house that your child could borrow.
How You Can Help
- Minimize Distractions
It is inevitable that your child will get distracted while at home. What we can do as parents is prepare for distractions before they happen. If you have a dog, consider putting a sign on the door to let solicitors or delivery drivers know not to knock. Other ways you can minimize distractions is to make sure that all toys, games, and activities are tucked away during learning hours. Practice the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. If your child is having trouble focusing due to other distractions in the house, move their learning space to a quieter area. Take it day by day, if something is not working, try something new!
- Set a Schedule
Our students are used to being on school schedules so try to keep their schedule the same at home! There are pillars in the school day that you can mimic at home. Things like start-time, lunch, recess, and end times are good starting points for setting a schedule. Having consistency in the schedule will instill your child with a sense of comfort. Let them know that this is how it is going to be for a little while but learning at home can be just as fun as learning in school!
You may need to make adjustments in your day to compliment your child’s at home schedule.
Communication is key when it comes to remote learning. Make sure to keep open lines of communication with both your child and their teacher. During this time, teachers are quickly adapting to online learning that frankly, most teachers have never had to do before. This is an unexpected learning experience for students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Try keeping open lines of communication with your students’ teachers and give them feedback. Help them understand what they can do better to deliver the best educational experience and let them know when they are doing a good job!
Actively check-in with your child on their progress both educationally and mentally. This can be a difficult scenario for children who are used to being in social settings. Make sure that your child feels empowered and comfortable at all times. See how their day is going and help them keep on track with their assignments! Most teachers will give you a due date schedule to manage at home assignments. If your child is falling behind or struggling, make sure to keep open lines of communication with your teacher and administrator – you are all on the same team!
YOU CAN DO IT!
WE ARE THERE FOR YOU!
WE ARE WITH YOU!
Yes, the sessions are going to be live, though there would be some sessions which will be pre-recorded, but these videos will be given separately other than the regular live session
Yes, although these sessions will have more fun-filled activities, but it will be structured, which would engage the child in play and at the same time would take care of their learning domains, various life skills and gross and fine motor activities too.
We understand your apprehension that how a 3 – 4 hrs of learning at school will be replaced by 1-2 hrs of virtual sessions and how the academic will be taken care off. So, we would say, all the academics will be taken care in these virtual classes and any shortfall of any kind will be taken care off by teachers when the child re-joins the school. And there would many recorded sessions also which will cater to physical education, music, dance, yoga, stories, art and craft, etc, which shall make sure that child doesn’t miss out on any academics and activities.
The timetable is specially designed keeping in mind the time factor and the learning domains in mind, the sessions would take care of the academic areas, as there would be learning activities, videos, worksheets which will foster the child’s learning and skills. The prerecorded sessions, which are an added supplement will take care of various skills like listening – speaking- comprehending- reasoning etc
This is not only about the timing, but also about getting into the routine for the wellbeing of the child, so yes, the child must attend the sessions at the specific time, which is shared in the timetable, though we will have some recorded sessions too, which the child can see at his convenient time.
The whole exercise is done to keep the child connected with their teachers so that the child does not find it difficult when they start the school, and since the child is promoted to the next class, so the new teacher will develop a bond with the child along with the familiar teacher for some initial days.
The child will be attending the next subsequent grade which is Nursery.
Well, you can access the sessions on a smartphone too, it just needs to have an internet connection. The process will be simple and as the entire session would be conducted by the teacher, the support is required just to assure that the child is safe as these are little ones. You can train your house helper regarding the process and to be vigilant. However, there will some pre-recorded sessions too, that you can enjoy with our child at your and your child’s convenience.
That is, perfectly fine, anything new in the beginning takes time, the child will take few sessions to get accustomed to the setup of virtual class. Also as said all the activities are designed keeping the child’s needs in mind, the initial session would be emphasizing upon developing the bond between the teacher and the child and child getting used to the entire system. Moreover, the duration of the class 30 min is planned to keep the attention span and interest of the child so, sitting up for this much time would not be a thing to worry. Also, once the child gets connected with the teacher and gets used to the system, he will start enjoying the sessions as there will be more of hands and fun activities.
Need not worry on that part, if by any chance, may be due to unstable internet connection or any other reason also, the child misses any class, the same concept is always revisited and recalled. The activities are planned in a way that the child gets the opportunity to reinforce it in one or the other way. Also the recorded versions of the sessions are uploaded on the YouTube channel of the school and these can be easily assessed.
With early years, academics doesn’t consist only of English and Math but as discussed there are many different domains that are necessary for the child’s mental and physical growth. So along with what is required in 3 R’s (Reading, writing and arithmetic) focus will be given to life skills and mental wellbeing of the children. The classes will be amalgamation of various activities that will lead towards a well-balanced session.
The core subjects – language, numeracy and concepts will be taken care of in these sessions, blended with a whole lot of activities that shall keep the enthusiasm and self-esteem high of the children. Worksheets shall be uploaded along with pre-recorded videos(links on the YouTube channel)
Home assignments will included book work as well as worksheets that can be printed at your convenience. There is no pressure to complete the worksheets immediately. Moreover, when the child comes back to school, any shortfall in academics will be taken care off. In addition to this, for activities like stories, rhymes or art and craft, there would be pre-recorded sessions too.
The main objective of the virtual classes is to give child a routine, connection with teachers and friends and the most important is to keep them upgraded with the academic, so, that they should not miss out on any learning. So, it’s ok if the child misses out a session or two, but don’t make it a habit. Frequent absence from the class, will make it difficult for the child to cope with the academics when he re-joins the school and it is important for his mental wellbeing.
Till, we receive the next directives from the government.
If it happens, then the virtual classes become even more important as a child cannot afford to have a long gap of one year away from a routine and structure. Also, to meet the learning needs these sessions become unavoidable.
- It can be difficult for children to understand when you are available, and when they need to do things independently. Knowing what to expect can make it easier for them to be independent when needed.
- Walk through your child’s schedule, and discuss which times they will be with you or another grown-up, and which times they will be playing independently. Mark these in some way for your child’s reference. You can put a green dot next to activities that will be completed with a grown-up’s help, and a purple dot next to activities that they will do independently.
Throughout the day, you can model using the schedule. “During play time, there is a purple dot, so I’m going to do work at that time. After your play time, we’re going to do learning time together!” If children know the next time they will get to be with you, it can be easier for them to complete an activity independently
- Yes, please use whichever resource is best for you and your family! No schedule is okay too! For many children, creating a schedule alongside an adult can help develop a healthy sense of self-control and choice.
- If you are using the “make your own” schedules, attach the words or images with something you can move, like a paper clip or a rolled piece of tape. There will likely come a time where changes need to be made to the schedule. At this time, you can sit with your child and partner together to make changes.
- Your child likely uses a schedule in their classroom. You can try connecting to their school schedule while implementing one at home: “Just like you have times for different activities, we’re going to do the same thing.”
- Schools often use 2-minute warnings to help make transitions easier. This can also be used to prompt children to tidy their area before moving on: “2 more minutes and we’re cleaning up”; “Just like at school you have to clean up before the next activity, we’re going to do the same thing at home.”
- If your child has not used a schedule at school, you can show your child how to use a schedule through modeling. After breakfast, you can say, “Let’s check the schedule to see what’s next.” Model pointing to the schedule and reading what it says. “Next, we are going to play outside!”
- Adjust based on you and your child’s needs. If you are noticing that 30 minutes is too long to spend on a math activity, shorten it! Children tell us what’s developmentally appropriate for them by demonstrating engagement. If they are losing engagement, that may indicate that the activity is too long, or too easy/difficult.
- Provide choices for each activity to give children an opportunity to express their preference. For example, learning time may have the same two options each day: practice math on Khan Kids, or practice drawing letters. Change out the choices periodically to keep things engaging!
- Ask children for their input. After using a schedule for a week or two, sit down with your child and ask, “What parts of the day do you like?” “What parts of the day can we change?” If there is an activity that a child needs to do, such as teeth brushing, incorporate choice by asking which time of day they’d like to do it: “Would you like to brush your teeth before you get dressed, or after?”
- Children may do better without a schedule! Schedules are not necessary, and they should not be used if they are not helpful. You are the expert on your child!
- We recommend using a picture schedule for children ages 2-4. At this developmental stage, children have not yet developed a strong sense of time, but they do understand general sequencing. They understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and what already happened.
- You may DOWNLOAD and print our Daily Schedule Sample provided below as a reference. You can make changes that suit your need too!