August 2021, marks around 18 months since the Big Bad Wolf – called the Corona Virus – made a name for itself on our beloved Planet Earth. Most of us found ourselves in a constant state of uncertainty and not knowing what to do next. This is where technology was at the forefront of the future and came to the rescue for many. Education and the business sectors came together in what is known as a “virtual space” to resume daily tasks and work schedules.
In an article posted on Faculty Focus many teachers found that their students were thriving more than ever before, in “virtual spaces” (Weber 2015). A scenario has unfolded in which more parents and learners are opting for digital, home-based learning as opposed to physical classroom teaching and learning.
In the case of younger learners, the role of many parents has changed, acting as not only a parent or full time employee/employer, but a teacher as well. While this new scenario may be overwhelming in the beginning, with a few easy tips and tricks, a parent will be managing all duties around being a parent, worker, and school teacher, in no time.
A balanced well-planned home environment is the starting point for success
Creating a dedicated learning environment needs a daily, weekly, and monthly planner. A structured environment helps to differentiate between the life of the parent and life “at school” for your child. Ensure that all school learning materials and devices are kept neatly in one area of the home, preferably one that is private with the least amount of movement and noise. This ultimately helps learners to focus better (Lucid Content Team n.d).
Keep repeating the word “Schedule”
A schedule is the main driver to guide the routine for learners. Routine and structures help learners to manage and focus to succeed in school (Lucid Content Team n.d). A well-planned routine in studying ensure learning to take place at convenient and comfortable times, based on individual needs. However, the factor of flexibility can easily work against you or your child slowly moving away from the goals set to reach target dates. Collaboratively, consider using simple tables, diagrams, and colours to create a schedule for the learner that is easy to read and aesthetically appealing. The schedule should be easily accessible: be it on digital devices, or simply printing it out and placed on the walls of the dedicated learning area. Examples of elements to include on a schedule include: Subjects to study the day, time allocated for learning or assignments, private hobbies or practices, relaxing time etc.
*Remember schedules can be altered when necessary!
*The privacy of the learner should be respected!
“Being organised is being in control” – An organized life
Staying organised, ensures that your child is always ahead of time and the learning game, and is ready and setup for the unexpected (Smith n.d).
Creating to-do lists is an easy way of time management and staying organised to create a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for tasks completed. Make it a fun activity with the learner and chose a specific time to draw up these to-do lists. This could be at the beginning of a new semester or month – for long term to-do lists- or every Friday afternoon – for short term – to-do lists. To-do lists should be brief with all relevant information. When compiling your to – do lists ensure you go through all aspects of work that must be completed (lessons for specific days, assignment due dates as well as goals for the day or week). This put your mind at ease as tasks are recorded. A calendar, digital can also work for the parent, for your to-do lists helps keep track of days and months and priorities to attend to and keep your child on track.
Ensure effective and successful learning at home for learners by staying motivated and giving praise where due.
Lucid Content Team. n.d. 8 homeschool tips and tricks for beginners. [online]. Available at: https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/8-homeschool-tips-and-tricks. [Accessed 25 May 2021].
Smith, J. n.d. ‘10 Beginner Homeschooling Tips For Parents’. In teachthought . [online]. Available at: https://www.teachthought.com/learning/10-tips-for-parents-new-to-online-homeschooling/. [Accessed 25 May 2021].
Weber, M. 2021. ‘Survive or Thrive: Evolving with Online Learning and Growing a Healthy Mindset for Our Students’. In Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching & Learning. [online] Available at: https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/survive-or-thrive-evolving-with-online-learning-and-growing-a-healthy-mindset-for-our-students/ [Accessed 25 May 2021].