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Combating coronavirus: Childhood experts offer homeschooling tips for parents

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 24, 2020 | Last updated on May 24, 2020 at 06.30 am
Combating coronavirus, covid19, Childhood experts, offer, homeschooling tips, parents

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There is a huge difference between selective 'homeschooling' and adapting to it unexpectedly.

Families are facing extended periods of social distancing due to Covid-19. To help them enjoy their time together, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority has offered parents guidance on how to help their children thrive at remote schooling and tips on engaging kids effectively during this #StayHome period.

There is a huge difference between selective 'homeschooling' and adapting to it very unexpectedly, but there are many ways families can balance multiple children's workloads while considering each child's individual needs and keeping on top of learning schedules.

During this time, it is important to recognise that this is an abnormal situation to be in, so be kind to yourself and look at the positives in every situation, the authority pointed out.

Address their concerns

Children easily pick up on conversations and uncertainty parents might be experiencing. As a result, this can lead to changes in a child's behaviour, schooling and overall wellbeing. It is important to regulate the content that is seen on the news and discussed during phone conversations with friends and family, the authority said.

Try to take those conversations away from children to help reduce unnecessary worry.?Talk to children about any fears or worries they might have and validate their feelings by addressing any questions that come up. During this time especially, it is important to create an honest and calm space for children to address concerns, it added.

Stick to a routine

Keeping a normal consistent routine for young children can be a stress reliever, the authority underlined. To ensure a sense of normality for children, plan a routine that mimics a normal day at school or nursery by incorporating playtime, arts and crafts, fun activities that involve other family members and reading, it said.

When planning a schedule, it is important to remember that things do not always go to plan, so try not to live by the clock and be flexible to adapt to changes when needed.?

What if my child falls behind?

Planning is a blessing for many parents, and setting and sticking to short term, realistic and achievable goals creates a calmer household. At the same time, it is important not to get overwhelmed by the thought that your child may fall behind. You can do some trials and ask an expert to find the right balance and the suitable environment that will improve you child's skills, the authority suggested.

If your child is not adapting to a set period of online learning, then adapt to spreading the work little and often across the day. It is important to recognise that this period is also a huge transition for children to adapt to as well. Children may also be facing anxieties, so it is important to not add to them by setting overly high expectations during this abnormal situation.

A SAMPLE ROUTINE FOR A TODDLER?

>7am: Time to wake up (Ensure children wake up at the same (7am) time each day) have breakfast?, brush teeth, get dressed

>8.30am: Playtime, engage them in a fun active activity for balance and coordination

>10.30am: Healthy morning snack

>11am: Messy play (painting, crafts, getting creative)

>12pm: Healthy lunch

>12.30pm: Naptime?

>2.30pm: Healthy afternoon snack

>3pm: Music time

>6pm: Bath time, teeth brushed

>6.30pm: Story time

>7pm: Bedtime (sticking to bedtime routines can help reduce bedtime battles, and help toddlers fall asleep easier and stay asleep for longer periods).

Extra Tips for working parents

-Do as much housework as possible before children wake up

-Plan meals at the weekend for the week ahead

-Talk to the children about the need for their support and discuss the weekly plans with them

-Have a schedule for the week where children and family members can video call friends and family, giving everyone something to look forward to

-Take some time after putting the kids to bed to prepare for their learning the next day

-Advise children in advance of important work calls so that everyone can respect the need to be quiet during this time

ismail@khaleejtimes.com 

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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