The term ‘online learning’ doesn’t sound unfamiliar to many of us, right?
The entire education system is slowly undergoing a transformation. Schools have introduced e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
A&A (who are in preschool) have been regularly having their online classes now. Initially it was difficult for them to get accustomed to this new way of learning. For the first few days, they didn’t understand why their teacher was meeting them online. They would move and run around after every five minutes and it was so difficult to make them sit through the entire session. Young kids have a low attention span. They get distracted easily and making them sit at one place for even a half-an-hour’s session is a big struggle.
While their teachers have been doing their best to make every online class interesting and interactive by making animated PPT’s, conducting fun rhyme sessions, etc., I realized the onus is mainly on us, the parents, to help our kids adjust to this new teaching-learning pattern. There are a lot of things that we as parents can do on our part to make e-learning easy and fun at home.
Making e-learning fun at home
Children are naturally motivated to play. And that’s how their preschool atmosphere usually is where they can explore, experiment and learn while playing. To help my kids enjoy the online learning experience, I try to provide a similar play based, engaging environment at home.
Sharing here all that I do to make online learning fun and easy at home:
Following a routine
To begin with, I follow a fixed daily schedule for A&A. Keeping the timings of their online classes in mind, we have created a suitable daily routine for them. We make sure that before their online class starts, they are fed, bathed and ready (just like they would get ready to go to their school). This gets them excited and also keeps them active during the session.
Dedicated Study space
A&A have their designated study space/corner at home. They have their own table-chair with their favorite stationery items placed on it. Whatever activity they do for the day, whether it is playing with toys, coloring, or studying, all the items have a place at their study corner. This helps to build their interest and keeps them motivated.
Sit with them for online sessions
For parents of young kids, this is crucial (especially in the initial sessions) to ensure that kids are able to learn and interact well with their teachers. I usually sit with A&A for the entire school online session. I sing rhymes/poems with them, join in storytelling, reiterate what their teacher says/asks and make them interact all through.
Follow-up activities at home
We also try new activities at home on concepts kids learn during online sessions. Like, these days they are learning about phonics and counting. So we do multiple follow-up games and activities at home like counting beads, playing alphabet quiz/puzzles, storytelling, reading books, etc., that help them revise the same.
Take breaks and offer healthy meals
Sitting continuously at a place, and more so in front of the screen for long, can be strenuous for young kids. We take adequate breaks in between for snacking and drinking. A&A’s favorite is PediaSure and I find it quick and easy too, to make a glass of PediaSure in between any activity or online session. It contains essential nutrients that support proper growth, immunity and brain development. One glass of PediaSure milk refreshes them instantly and gives them the energy to stay active and pay attention during the classes.
Involving them in simple household activities
I personally feel learning is not just restricted to school and curriculum. Apart from the online school sessions, I involve A&A in a various home activities and chores. They enjoy simple chores like folding clothes, watering the plants, laying the table, etc. In fact we turn these into fun games, like who will clean the bed first or fill more water bottles. These simple activities add to our precious family bonding time and also help kids pick up basic life skills.
Appreciate them with simple rewards
Appreciation works wonders with kids. A simple star/sticker or even a hi-five can boost their confidence and encourage them to focus in the class. Every time they finish an activity on their own or give a correct answer, I appreciate their efforts by rewarding them in a simple way. This helps to keep them excited as well as motivated.
Online learning is relatively a new way of learning for children. The only way to help kids make the most of it is by making it fun and engaging at home. It may require a bit of effort and a lot of patience on our part but at the end it will add to a fruitful learning experience for them.
Disclaimer– The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author’s end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.