Times have changed drastically and we’re all navigating through uncharted waters. Parents face the ever so daunting task of home schooling their kids. Many people will have never sat down with their child to make an attempt to go through their current syllabus with them. This makes home schooling, on top of the daily tasks and jobs parents face already, even more intimidating. COVID-19 has thrown unexpected lifestyle changes in our directions, and all we can do is take it in our stride.
When it comes to supplementing and maintaining a child’s education many parents may feel stranded with a monumental task. However, many schools have taken an online approach when assigning homework over these unsure times. Google Classroom, LiteracyPlanet, Maths-Whizz and MyOn are some of the platforms being used to help keep literacy and mathematics classes going. Google Classroom has allowed the classroom to become paperless. Teachers are able to stay in contact with pupils, assign work, and even keep the days as normal as possible by handing out certificates the kids may have received in their weekly assemblies. Kids are being assigned work to be completed on LiteracyPlanet, Maths-Whizz and MyOn throughout the week. However, one complaint about these platforms is that kids see it as a form of school and aren’t as invested in doing the work from the comfort of their living room.
Keeping a child focused and engaged may be difficult when using these platforms. But the need of child must be balanced with order. Maintaining a routine and timetable whilst using engaging educational media will help diminish the perception of doing schoolwork at home. One example of this is Theo Michaels’ home economics class. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4pm, the MasterChef star takes to Instagram TV and YouTube hosting virtual cooking classes aimed at kids. Keeping their days as normal as possible and setting out times when they will be working on different subjects interactively as well as when they have their breaks will allow them to differentiate between home life and their new ‘school’ routine.
The old proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ still rings true and parents shouldn’t be feeling helpless in these tough times. A plethora of celebrities have offered their time and resources for the sake of ensuring a high standard of education for all kids. The list of celebrities includes Joe Wicks, Carol Vorderman, David Walliams, Jamie Oliver, Myleene Klass, Darcey Bussell, Dan Snow, and Theo Michaels. Some are teaching classes online – for example, Joe Wicks, he has taken it upon himself to become the P.E teacher of the nation by broadcasting 30-minute-long work out sessions to his YouTube channel. Others are offering their services for the cause – David Walliams has released 30 audio-stories aimed at children and Carol Vorderman has made her mathematics website (The Maths Factor) which matches the national curriculum free for duration of school closure.1
Home schooling is hard. There will be days which are more productive than others. As we start familiarising ourselves with the norms of this time, we see a more empathic and altruistic approach to educating future generations. The standard of online resources has already been raised, is this the new benchmark?
1. Banwait, K. (2020). The ultimate homeschool timetable every parent needs. Retrieved from https://www.netmums.com/coronavirus/celebrity-homeschooling-timetable?fbclid=IwAR3WZwBzgcDPzzG1JZtWw1p0WKA7zbS2qTQUW1xTVh4WABdXgUdxQcgY-xw