Going new schoolScroll Down
BY BLANCA DELA CRUZ
Homeschooling is in. Here’s how parents and teachers can ease the online learning curve.
Blanca dela Cruz is an award-winning author, educator, and mother.
Like many, I used to think that there is only one effective way to deliver education, and that is within the four walls of school. However, this pandemic clearly changed the playing field for everyone—students, parents and teachers alike.
What used to be just an alternative way of learning is now the new normal. Schools have gone remote, and every household has become the epicenter of teaching and learning.
While this thought can be a bit disconcerting for both parents and teachers, there is really no need to be super anxious about this whole thing, especially when there are many ways we can make this homeschooling set-up work. Here are some of them:
Learn the Platform
The success of every homeschooling endeavor lies in knowing the Learning Management System (LMS) in place like the back of your hand. The LMS may look intimidating at first, but once you become familiar with the ins and outs of a particular LMS, say, Google Classroom, the rest will come easy.
Being familiar with how children are expected to navigate the contents and activities in the LMS, taking advantage of the built-in messaging tools and other interactive classroom functionalities, and completing basic tasks such as submitting and completing requirements online will help facilitate teaching and parenting in this new normal.
Create a Conducive Workspace
Dedicating a comfortable and well-lit space at home exclusively for teaching and learning makes a huge difference in terms of focus and productivity.
You don’t have to mimic a real classroom environment, but having a corner where you can teach or where your child can engage in synchronous or asynchronous study sessions without getting easily distracted or interrupted will do wonders to your sanity.
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Stick to a Routine
Especially in a work-from-home and at-home school set up, keeping a regular schedule of on-task activities with breaks in between helps strike a good balance between work and rest.
Adults and children function best in stressful situations when they maintain a routine that is as close to normal as possible.
Maintain a Planner
The demands of online teaching and learning call for better time-management and self-regulation. A visual planner where you or your child can map out and track all deadlines and deliverables, and tick off items in a To-Do list will certainly help define, highlight, and narrow down the priorities.
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Take Digital Breaks
Digital fatigue is real. Doing simple yoga stretches to ease and loosen up stiff muscles or taking a walk to catch fresh air are a must especially if you or your child is cooped up in front of the computer for too long. These physical activities help clear the head and restore good spirits.
One way to ease the burden of having to sit through online classes for long periods is to arm yourself or your children with the right equipment. Using an ergonomic chair with plenty of seating, good lumbar support, and tilt adjustment helps avoid back pain.
Meanwhil, an adjustable laptop riser that can be set to an ideal level prevents neck strain. For long hours of screen interactions, popping on wireless headphones with active noise cancellation technology to block out ambient noise and wearing a pair of blue light glasses to avoid digital “eye strain” can ward off potential headaches.
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Indeed, homeschooling promotes independent learning among children, but active collaboration between parents and teachers ensures its success. Who says you have to do all the work on your own?
When parents and teachers work together as partners, children do better in school—even in this remote learning set-up. After all, education, whether online or on-site is always a team effort.
As a parent and/or a teacher, how do you personally plan to upgrade your child or student’s online learning experience?
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