Working online is with us again, hopefully for a brief period. This is not anyone's favourite way to educate our children however these decisions are not made by Schools or by parents but as part of Government policy to ensure the safety and welfare of all citizens.
The following are suggestions on how you can make online education more satisfactory both for your students and for yourselves.
Having a good day should begin with the day before! Make sure that your children have enough sleep and go to bed at appropriate times. Online days are not holidays and you should keep to the same routine as a normal school day as you possibly can.
Create a daily plan. We have planned online days to ensure students are not looking at a screen all day long. This means there will be gaps which would normally be filled with recess or moving from one class to another. At home these gaps are very real and can easily get out of control. Examine the timetable for the day and depending on the age of the child create a routine that can include personal reading, reading by a parent, playing with lego. doing maths homework and even doing assigned chores maybe after a snack have the children take their plate and cup to the kitchen, have them wash them and put them away, wipe down the table, tidy the room. The main thing is that it becomes a proper routine, and which is expected to be followed.
Where possible have a dedicated place where the student will work online and other offline schoolwork. Ideally this should be a table in a quiet corner of a room. A dedicated room may seem like a good idea but if there is no other adult in the room then a student can easily be distracted and even play video games instead of paying attention to the lesson. Of course, if there are younger children around you may have no choice. In this case visit the room at random times and try and have the screen face the door.
You can’t be prepared for every little interruption that may happen, but there are so many things that you can plan for. Have all the supplies your student will need ready such as pens, pencils and notebooks. Make sure your internet can handle enough people online at the same time. Have your student be involved in the process of preparation and room design.
Don't teach-help them understand. Try not to complete the work for the student. Helping your student understand the work gives them the foundation for success. Remember, we are looking to find out how well your student is doing 一 not how well you are doing!
Ask for Help
Make sure all the work is completed and that there is a valid reason for any work not completed. Have the student contact the teacher so that they are able to understand any problems they may have.
Look for the barriers to success. Is it motivation, is it the structure of the day (maybe i is too rigid, maybe not rigid enough), is it a lack of understanding, are there too many distractions, is it too cold or too warm in the room? If you are able to identify and resolve in the home then do so - if you need assistance from the school contact us — we are here to help.
Help them understand the relevance of their work. If they are doing a maths problem you could say, “..that is really useful -I had to use that same formula or principal to solve a problem in my work this week’，You can then explain how you arrived at your solution and have your student be part of the experience of how satisfying solving a problem really can be.
Give positive feedback. Teachers very quickly learn that criticising a student's work does not lead to an improved outlook or motivates to do better. Studies have shown that children miss the reassurance and reinforcement from teachers when they work at home.
Finally, take care of yourself. Do not worry about the situation. You cannot change it and remember it is the same for every student and from every school. If you are anxious, your children will be anxious. Enjoy your time with your students and with proper care and consideration it can be a wonderful time.