The way things are panning our Homeschooling and Online School may be here to stay for a long time to come.
Even if the schools are allowed reopen in September in Nigeria, there may be a great number of parents who may still prefer to keep their children at home and would explore other means to keep them occupied.
So here are 5 tips to get you started:
- Engage your children at an age appropriate level. Don’t sit your 3 to 5 year old’s down for hourly lessons where all you do is teach and talk at them. They are sensorial learners, meaning they learn with their senses. They need concrete experiences more than they need you to tell them about things. The child needs us to show them and let them experience things themselves. So let them explore and experience the concepts you want them to learn. If you are also using an online school platform, get engaged in what your children are learning. Provide support at home, make it practical for them especially for the very young child.
- Have a plan, just as the school has a curriculum, diary and lesson plan. You must know what you want to achieve, don’t just copy a curriculum! This is the best time for you to help your child to become whom you see them being in the next 20 plus years. Everything is not about Academics, there is more to learning than that. Did you know that you could use everyday activities to teach children Language, Mathematics and Science. We must look beyond that classroom syllabus and lesson topics, look at the objectives the skill sets and see if you can marry these to sweeping the floor, cooking ewedu soup with eba, you will be surprised what great treasures even simple activities like this can enable the child to learn.
- Understand your child, know where they are at. Don’t rush them or follow a syllabus to the detriment of where your child is at or what your child doesn’t know. This is the time to find those gaps and find engaging ways to fill them in. Is your child struggling with understanding his multiplication tables? Maybe he needs a simple lesson of repeated additions then skip counting, number patterns and before you know it these simple concepts light up a bulb in your child’s brain – now he gets it and learning the tables becomes a breeze. Is she finding it difficult to move past reading three and four or five letter words? Look closely is she struggling with reading the words that have combined letters that make up one sound? If that is the case work on phonograms and help build your child’s knowledge and skills so that they can read beyond the simple sounds of the alphabet. Remember that English Language has 26 alphabets but at least 44 identifiable sounds.
- If your children are older than 6 then make sure you have a plan that they too have agreed to, this will really help you avoid arguments, shouting, yelling and even beatings. All these are so unnecessary if you have planned with them what their day would be like right from the start. Even your older children do not need lectures instead get them to do some research and then teach you what they have found out. They would love this. And you will be working on improving so many skills at the same time apart from the new learning that would be happening. These would include: research skills, organisation and thinking skills, as well as communication and presentation skills.
- Read with your child, continue to encourage this skill daily. Buy books, use books. Today’s readers will become tomorrows leaders.
I know that the task ahead for us all may seem daunting for parents right now, but one thing I know. You can do it. Homeschooling does not have to be a hard job.
Make it fun.
Do your best and don’t stress out.