Date Posted: 04/03/2020
Many helpers are used to having kids at home outside school hours, but now kids are staying home — sometimes by choice — and others under quarantine.
To restrict the spread of COVID-19, Hong Kong sent all pupils to home-study until April (at least!). Schools scrambled to roll out work at home policies, including conducting online classes.
Across Hong Kong and China, roughly 180 million students are holed-up at home. Hong Kong. Apartments average at 128sq/ft, and cabin fever can easily set in. Not only can this strain the patience of parents but also the attention span of kids!
Home learning can be a test in the ‘cramped’ living environments, and many families don’t have access to reliable internet or even enough computers to go ‘round.
This may be the worlds biggest home learning experiment, and it may lead to new approaches for progressive school practice — but for people sharing small living space or for anyone less tech-savvy, it can be primarily challenging.
At HelperFirst we have many teacher-friends, mainly working in International Schools, so we decided to ask a question to help helpers help kids and parents beat the nCOV-19 cabin fever blues.
Teachers top tips for successful homeschooling:-
For parents and guardians (and so for Helpers, too!)
Show interest in each child’s work!
Talk to them and ask about the platforms they work on and the problems they face.
Offer input and feedback as it is useful in this time of isolation.
Encourage movement, free time and playtime — all kids get these at school and will need something similar during homeschooling.
Try to provide regular hours, schedule and a safe learning environment.
For students at home (and so for helpers too!)
Find a few different places around the home that they might like to work and try to avoid staying in the same spot. Kids in schools seldom stay in one spot at school either.
Rearrange working spaces, so kids can sit, stand and lean back.
Avoid placing computer screens against walls. This makes for tired eyes! It is better to put computers near enough to a window, so users look ‘around and over’ screens.
Schedule breaks and free time.
Plan activities away from the computer. Non-screen breaks are essential.
Keep contact with other students who are sharing this situation. (This is also useful for parents!).
Try to keep their desk space clear of clutter.
Set aside a specific time for physical activity.
Set (time) blocks and chunks & stick to these — helps maintain focus and mimics a typical school day.
Use alarms on your phone and stopwatches. (parents and helpers can do this too!)
Parents and Guardians AND students (so helpers too!)
Students and parents or guardians should together make and build a schedule that includes a balance between working and fun for everyone.
Stay healthy and safe.