Online learning during lockdown
Since last year, “online learning”, “remote education”, “home schooling” – whatever you choose to call it, is something that parents and guardians have become accustomed to. All over the country and around the world, they have had to become familiar with the use of technology to support their child’s learning, as governments, organisations and individuals grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As many countries began to take measures against the virus in early 2020, hundreds of millions of children around the world found themselves needing to be taught from home, as their schools were shut. This includes millions of students in the UK, and if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you and your children are in a similar position.
If you are finding it difficult to stay on top of things in the remote education department, the first thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are literal millions that have been thrust into this new world, and we are all figuring it out together.
The next thing to remember is that there is help available:
Help with technology – The UK government is providing support for children who need tablets or computers in order to be able to continue their education from home. You can contact your child’s school if you need to take advantage of this.
Help with subject-content – Schools are doing their best at the moment (or struggling to provide support). Some provide live teaching, while others just provide worksheets. Getting additional support outside your child’s school ensures your child stays on course with the learning objectives for their age and year group. If your child needs help with key areas and subjects such as learning to read, English, and maths, consider getting one-to-one support or group help. We provide this support at Clarssroom and we have migrated all our teaching sessions to live sessions online. We have seen enrolled children make excellent and remarkable progress. We also provide access to online maths platform for children enrolled on our programmes to further sharpen their maths skills at their own pace.
Mental health help – Since the first lockdown was instated last year, there has been an increase in calls to helplines regarding mental health. Some things that you can do to help you and your child’s mental health include: maintaining regular physical activity (simple things such as taking a walk counts!), maintaining a regular sleeping pattern, keeping a healthy diet, making a plan of activities to do with your child so as to give structure and routine to each day, managing the news you watch and listen to, and spending quality time together as a family.
For information on more resources and support available, check out this BBC News article.
Finally, here are some tips to help you navigate the experience of online learning during lockdown:
1. Embrace online learning. It may be daunting at first, but just like you did with mobile phones and the internet, you’ll get used to it. Also, the more time you spend doing it, the better you’ll get at it.
2. Have a dedicated device for your child’s online learning. This encourages consistency and stability on their part, it helps ensure parents can reliably work from home (if applicable), and it reduces the chances of frustration all round.
3. Work with teachers. Think of them as “master chefs” rather than just cooking enthusiasts. They have an idea of the ingredients that are necessary, as well as the best methods for an effective learning experience. In some cases, they might even be able to tailor it to your child.
4. Talk to us at Clarssroom, other parents, friends and those in your support network. There is power in shared experiences. Learn to speak up, whether you’re struggling or just require some specific assistance. You can get creative ideas, inspiration, encouragement and more from your support system.
5. Engage your child. Talk with them, listen to them, see things from their perspective, help them see the bigger picture of what’s going in the world. Also, it helps to be honest about what you know, and what you don’t know.
6. Be kind to yourself – For the majority of people, the world of home schooling and facilitating online learning for their kids is new. Take breaks when you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself, the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it, and your child will be better off for it.
Online learning is the new normal, and it is the future. It is here to stay, and it doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be an enjoyable learning experience for you and your child, and we are here to help make it so.