During this difficult period, many parents are finding themselves having to assist their children during their online learning sessions. We know that it is not always easy to be able to recreate the same atmosphere of their regular school classroom at home. Thus, we have decided to share some tips from Ms. Ortega, leader of the Pedagogical department, on how to best support your child during their online lessons and during their home learning. We recommend that you focus on two different aspects: organization and emotions.
1. Tell them you are happy to be with them
It is important that you tell your children that even if staying at home creates some inconveniences, you are happy to be with them. This is a very powerful message. If the child feels that they are a burden, they will behave as such and they will feel an even stronger need for positive attention.
2. Have a positive outlook
Our children mirror our moods, even though it’s not always evident. If we are positive, calm and are open to dialogue, they will follow suit! So we adults should learn to look for the positive aspects of this complex situation.
3. Create a routine
An important message to communicate to children is that WE ARE NOT ON HOLIDAY. Life seems different and thus they can very innocently think that this is an extended vacation - it is important to clarify this by clearly explaining the true situation. By doing so, we are establishing correct expectations.
It is important not to let your child sleep more than usual or to take online lessons in the evening. Create a daily routine, just like at school: lesson time, as well as snack, recreation time and lunch time.
4. Create a space dedicated to learning
If possible, it is important that the space where the child will do their online lessons or their homework is different from the space where they play and have fun. Try to create two different "zones", one with toys and one with a table dedicated to learning with no distractions. These two seperate zones will allow the child to clearly understand the two different situations.
5. Take care of the needs of siblings of different ages
Small children obviously have different needs than the older ones and we must make sure that both needs are respected. This is a challenge, but it can be possible with commitment and clear communication! Start by informing everyone in the family of the organizational plan during the various study times. Everyone must receive clear information on what they can and what they cannot do. For example, the younger children must receive the message that the older ones must be respected and left alone during their study time.