Learning at Home: An Expert’s Tips on Teaching Your Kids During the Lockdown
With the country going through another wave of COVID-19, a severe one this time, juggling responsibilities has become cumbersome for many parents. Sure, there are pros and cons to the lockdown or curfews enforced upon us. While we get to spend much coveted time with our families, taking care of them is paramount. And then there’s the stress of keeping them busy and keeping learning going with schools, sports centres, hobby classes, and recreational centres shut. But there’s good news! Your child will not lose out on learning important things during these months if it is made a part of his daily routine.
Video: An Expert’s Tips on Teaching Your Kids at Home During the Lockdown
Yes, continuing your child’s learning during the lockdown is quite easy, especially when you involve elements of your daily life and, above all, have fun! To make it easier for you, our expert, Rashmi Soin, a celebrated motivational speaker and parent coach, has broken down certain points that are essential to keep kids learning. Watch the video and read on to know what the expert has to say about learning during the lockdown, and follow her insightful tips to combine parenting and teaching in the modern day!
FirstCry Intelli presents to you, Learning Through the Lockdown, a Live Session with celebrated Parent Coach and Motivational Speaker, Mrs. Rashmi Soin.
FirstCry Intelli यांनी वर पोस्ट केले बुधवार, १३ मे, २०२०
How Do Kids Learn at Home?
Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you children learn through example. They pick up what their teachers, friends, and parents do or say, rather than what they’re ‘told’ to do. Everyone needs their downtime, so spreading out a kid’s day between the parents, nanny, teachers, and other caretakers gives each one some relief from being on their best behaviour. But when the kid is around you 24×7 once again, his only source of learning is the family. Therefore, you need to take care of the language you use, how you spend your time, and how you behave around each other. Yes, it may seem like a lot to take on, but this period won’t last forever and can also prove to be beneficial for you. It’s also another opportunity to work on those habits you’ve been meaning to kill or reconsider the hobbies you’ve been meaning to pursue?. This is the best time to do all of that and more!
So, what exactly do kids learn from you? The answer is ‘EVERYTHING!’. Right from your vocabulary to the little spurts of irritation with other family members, your child will observe and pick up everything you do and say. In her discussion, Rashmi Soin mentions that kids are constantly listening. So, if you tell a little white lie to your boss about not being able to work, your kid understands it and imbibes the same behaviour. He will also see how you treat certain family members and begin treating them the same way. So, know that you have a little soldier merrily running about the house, ready to mirror your actions. If you’re unsure of whether certain things would pass as acceptable, think, ‘would I want my child to behave the same way?’ And you’ll have your answer!
Tips to Help Your Kids Learn at Home
Though it may seem like a huge task, helping your kids learn at home is quite easy and only requires some minor adjustments and additions. Here are some ways in which you can help your child learn at home during the lockdown.
1. Reduce Screen Time
There’s a reason this is first on the list, and that’s because the temptation to simply switch on a cartoon while your child is bored or throws a tantrum will arise multiple times a day. And why not, right? Parents are not as active as their kids, who need some form of stimulation most of the day, plus they’re busy with house chores and work. Rashmi Soin talks about minimising screen time and, instead, focusing on physical activities that switch the brain from a passive to an active state. If you don’t have many puzzles or games at home, you can even make easy ones at home that don’t require much material and will keep your child occupied for hours.
2. Present House Problems
The number one way to help your kids learn is by making them think. Present your child with simple problems in everyday life. Asking your child for a solution will make him feel valued and responsible and stimulate logical reasoning. If you have a meeting with your boss at 12 p.m. but have to finish two chores before that, ask your child to help you find a way to manage your time so you get everything done. According to Rashmi Soin, problem-solving aids cognitive development and ensures the learning process continues at home.
3. DIY All the Way
When we say DIY, we don’t just mean building or making things at home, but rather any activity or game that can easily be performed at home by your child. Once you get into the zone, you’ll see how easily everyday objects available at home can help with development. Rashmi Soin recommends cutting shapes out of cardboard and asking your child to string them together while calling out the names. You can even do this with numbers and alphabets. Another activity she suggests is to mix dry rajma and chole in a bowl and ask your child to sort it. This, she says, will greatly help in developing fine motor skills.
4. Spend Quality Time
Getting caught up with office and housework can sometimes make you lose out on quality time with your child, even at home. But, this is another opportunity to bond with your child while getting some much-needed relaxation at the end of a long day. A superb tip by Rashmi Soin is to play some games with the family every night. You could choose a new game every night, such as Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, etc. If you run out of board games, do not fret, for there are also games that only require paper, pencil, and your minds, such as Name-Place-Animal-Thing or Tic-Tac-Toe. Trust us; this will be your favourite time of the day, and, who knows, it will be a tradition you continue even after the lockdown ends!
5. Read, Read, Read
Reading to your child has a number of benefits, right from improving vocabulary to explaining concepts that would otherwise be tough for him to comprehend. Rashmi Soin emphasises on the importance of reading to your child every day. It nurtures imagination and helps kids learn the most basic of concepts that we take for granted. For example, English words are read from left to right, and the story continues even after a page is flipped. Once you complete a story, ask your child questions, such as ‘what did you learn from the story?’, ‘Which character is your favourite?’, ‘What would you do if you were ‘abc’ character?’ etc. to increase retention and also enhance creativity. Moral stories are another great way to teach values to your child with interesting storylines and colourful illustrations. This is the best time to read to your child as much as you can for optimal development.
6. Set a Routine
While you set aside time every day to bond with your child through activities, don’t forget about the most important life skill of all. Discipline! Set a routine for yourself as well as your little one. Have a set time for house chores, work, playtime, game hour, TV time, and more. It’s easy to become too relaxed during the lockdown and do things at your own pace, but your little one is constantly learning from you. Since he is not going to school, where he learns discipline through mapped out hours, you have to create the same atmosphere of sticking to a routine at home. Of course, Sundays are for chilling, as always!
7. Focus on Independence
Many parents are fixated on how not to avoid spoiling their children too much. Going to playschool and meeting others gives kids a sense of independence, but how do you do the same at home? Since you have a bit more time during the day to dote on your little one, make sure you don’t overdo it. Teach your child to feed himself, choose his own clothes, etc., and take small decisions during the day to assert his independence. You don’t want to make a habit out of doing everything for your child, so try to do everything you can to minimise the change.
A child’s learning process continues even at home, and more so during the lockdown. Taking active steps to teach your child life skills, enhance his development and learning, and make him a more disciplined person is made easy with just a few adjustments to your routine!