Without any pre-planning or warning, parents and children around the world found themselves ensconced into the confines of their homes, with parents expected to still continue working while taking on the additional role of being a teacher.
However, during the state of lockdown, schools did ask parents if they wished to exercise the home-schooling option if they did not feel comfortable with their child/children returning to school.
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This may have been due to a number of factors, including that the child could have had a medical condition such as severe asthma, which made them more vulnerable, or the fact that there were adults – parents or even grandparents – at home who suffered from a co-morbidity which significantly increased their risk of complications from a Covid-19 infection.
If working from home and home schooling is new to you, here are a few tips to help make the load a little lighter:
- Set a schedule and stick to it.
- Prepare a to-do list the night before, including academic plans for your children for the following day.
- Alternate your roles with your partner (if you have a partner), draw up a schedule as to who will be responsible for what to make the load lighter.
- Teach your children how to play on their own.
- Try and let your children do their schoolwork, remember you are there to guide.
- Create a meal plan the night before to make things easier the following day
- Lay out your children’s book/s the night before.
- Try and keep your schedule flexible – if your children need a 5-minute break, give it to them, please remember home schooling is different from school.
- Get up early, even if it means setting your alarm an hour before your children get up, so that you can get some of your own work out of the way.
- Finally, forgive yourself, bear in mind that this is new territory we all are navigating, and you are doing your best under the circumstances.
And if working from home is the new normal to you and you have never home-schooled your children before, give yourself time to adapt and learn. You will develop a new routine soon enough.