Many parents are worried that their children might fall behind in the coming weeks amid the school closures that officially took effect on Wednesday last week due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, learning can still continue during this time, despite these challenges. This is thanks to the rise of e-learning and other digital tools.
But implementing learning at home is also about taking a more holistic approach that includes factoring in play and exercise.
Here are five tips to help your children keep learning during school closures.
Have a conversation
Firstly, have a conversation with your children to make sure that they are calm and that they understand what is going on in the world currently regarding Covid-19. It's important to try to reduce any possible anxiety, while also communicating that learning will now take place at home for the next few weeks.
If your child’s school has handed out learning packs, make sure you have them on hand. If possible, look through the packs and search the internet to see if there are ways to supplement the learning topics with e-learning, especially if it's free e-learning resources. There are also many providers out there who offer free e-books. One local South African example is that of this e-book library, which consists of 45,000 free e-books.
You don’t have to follow a strict timetable to complete academic work throughout this period. But for your own sanity, it might help to have some sort of plan in place. If you need help with setting up a timetable, we have put together this simple daily schedule that can guide you and your children with staying on track during school closures. Bear in mind that you might not be able to stick to a timetable if someone in your household is sick, needs to return to work, or do other activities. Your child will then have to adapt the schedule and complete the academic work at another time. However, even loosely sticking to a timetable will help everyone know what is expected while ensuring that learning takes place.
Importance of playtime and hobbies
It's also critical to ensure your children are engaging in physical activities such as playing in the garden or even going for walks. You can add playtime into your timetable as a reward for completing schoolwork. Apart from this, you can also encourage your children to take part in hobbies.
Finally, if you feel you need extra help and resources, look to credible home education providers out there that follow the CAPS curriculum. Home education providers can offer a structured approach to learning as well as guidance on what to teach and when. There are already an estimated 100,000 home education learners in South Africa spread across urban and rural areas. Many of these learners and parents are sharing helpful tips and advice on social media and news outlets during this time.