Parents and teachers around the world have been unceremoniously thrown into online teaching with minimal preparation or precedent for what virtual learning should look like. Different schools are taking varying approaches to this new learning process, but parents are sharing the universal experience of taking a more hands-on role in their children’s education.
If you’re struggling to manage homeschooling, or even if you’re a virtual learning rockstar, here are some tips to help your kids learn more effectively from home.
First, remember that although you may be new to Zoom classes, you have been teaching your children their entire lives. Filling at home learning time with extra math worksheets and education apps isn’t the only way to substitute in extra education. Other cognitive skill development activities like cooking, exploring the outdoors, building something, or getting creative are all great ways to expand your child’s knowledge base outside of their online classes.
If you’re worried about kids losing valuable learning skills, remember that this break is not much different from the summer vacation they take every year. Learning is not a linear task. Children can retain reading, math, and problem-solving skills with simple daily practice. As long as their minds are active and they are developing cognitive skills, the rest will fall in line.
In addition to online courses, this is a great time to teach kids about the real-world applications of educational skills. When it comes to math, having kids plan and cook meals can teach them multiplication skills, fractions, and measurement. For younger children, counting coin jars is a good option and for older children, now can be a great time to learn to budget, balance bank accounts, or pick up Sudoku.
Reading and writing are skills we are constantly developing. Fill those extra hours with literary escapes and incorporate reading practice from other activities like following instructions, playing games, writing short stories, or emailing relatives. Encourage your child to keep a journal to reflect on their experiences during this strange time or even have them write the grocery list!
For some scientific practice, kids can learn to start seedlings or dry and diagram flowers from the garden. Older kids can even partake in the citizen science opportunities we talked about earlier this week.
Some of these activities may sound basic, but that’s the point! There are so many simple ways to keep kids learning throughout the day. Get creative and let kids use their imagination to come up with new projects and tasks. Virtual classes and assignments are a great way to keep up with critical skills, but there are infinite ways to keep children engaged and learning off screens and around the home.