In the last couple of weeks, the amount of schoolwork being set by teachers has increased, yet working parents still have their own jobs to complete. In addition, we have the added responsibility of allaying growing levels of anxiety, now clearly visible in our children. Throw in slow broadband, limited 4G devices and deaths in the family, we find ourselves in an impossible situation.
Behind closed doors, the children we once knew as happy and confident, are now showing signs of stress, anxiety and in some cases depression. Everything they relied on has gone online and activities they used to enjoy, taken away.
We keep calm and carry on. We still have our regular video calls to do, staff to mentor and deadlines to hit. We hope we have developed ways to retain professionalism at work, whilst encouraging coping mechanisms for our kids at home. We share some of our best tips below.
It is near impossible to do two jobs at the same time and do them both to the best of your ability. By planning your day, you can split your focus on each job and give it all your attention. By printing worksheets and colouring sheets, you can set your child up on their task, whilst you get going with your emails. Alternatively ask your school for weekly work packs. One lesson down, you can give the child a break and get on with your first video call of the day.
Children learn by doing. When you stop to critique their work, this may not go down well. A better way to do it is to praise them for what they have done and build on it by saying, "You could also add…" I have seen teachers do this and I now understand why this approach is more effective. The children are encouraged and empowered to learn more.
Plan calls, video calls, quizzes, family gaming and text chats to allow your children to communicate and play with friends and family. Grandparents are often calming influences who encourage learning life skills. It is also something that can be planned to keep them occupied, whilst you attend an online meeting.
Instilling a passion to help others, empowers children to feel more in control. Your child’s school may be collecting food for local families, dropping off learning packs and in some cases 4G devices. Getting involved can give back your child some control over the situation, having a positive effect on their emotions and ability to learn.
Many of the Jola team are parents balancing work and home school and empathise with the challenges faced. We are also helping partners to provide data SIM cards for 4G devices for schools to help disadvantaged children learn remotely. To find out more about Jola, request our Partner Pack.