More than 850 million students in more than 100 countries are currently languishing in their homes because of the Covid-19 crisis. This quarantine is expected to last months and perhaps more. Therefore, governments around the world are recommending more and more switching to distance learning.
Lebanon is no different. The Ministry of Education (MOE) lately decided to start the new school year through online courses, opinions were divided into two different points of views:
People who agreed on the idea, and people who were confused and afraid of it as they believe that the Lebanese schooling generation is not prepared for this step.
So, for those who are not yet feeling familiar with the online schooling idea, especially the ones that have children that are obliged to engage into the new schooling rules, here are 6 online tips to help you and your little ones cope with this new reality:
Learn how to use video communication tools
We cannot say this enough. Parents need to know their way around video communication tools.
Softwares like Zoom, Microsoft Teams & Google Meets will be part of our daily lives now. Schools will be counting on these tools to deliver the needed materials for studends.
As parents, we should know how to install, configure, troubleshoot & most importantly use these tools. We cannot afford our children missing classes because we couldn’t support them to join on time.
The “More online time for our children” challenge
Many parents may feel confused about how and whether screen media should be used with young children for long durations and how negatively it may affect them.
Discussions are still ranging by specialists because of the mixed messages over the years from the advertising benefits of certain applications to blocking screen time in early learning centers.
So how can you carry your children’s during online classes and screen time?
If your child’s ophthalmologist describes reading glasses, make sure that they are worn at all times, especially when in front of the screen.
It is recommended to watch screens in a well-lit room to reduce eye strain. In general, the brightness level on the screen or the screen around the center should be maintained when a moderate brightness setting is set up, and should be displayed in a room with adequate lighting.
It is very important to let your children take regular breaks from the screens, both for the eyes and for the body.
Ideally, we must follow the 20-20-20 rule that states that every 20 minutes we must look away from the screen for 20 seconds for a body 20 feet away.
These short breaks give our children eyes the chance to change focus and help the neck muscles relaxed.
Outdoors activities are one of the only preventive factors that had proved short-sighted.
In studies from around the world, especially Singapore, children who spend longer time outdoors tend to have less development for short-sightedness.
Music is magical
Children respond well to singing and dancing courses. For a child, sharing a song or dance is an easy way to interact with a screen because it can follow the leader.
Try to use songs intermittently to re-engage children who might be distracted during a virtual meeting.
Allow time for sports activities before your child starts focusing on the remote learning task, exercising can help them in this.
Some children also can better focus on tasks when standing up. Consider placing your computer or tablet on a raised surface so your child can stand up.
Try as possible as you can to avoid noises, not to speak loudly, and do not receive visitors at home when your children complete the school assignment.
Provide immediate positive feedback
When your children complete their distance learning, provide immediate and positive feedback! A simple thing like a checkmark, star, or sticker on your work task can go a long way in motivating them.
Through creative thinking and efforts of teachers and families as partners, children will continue to develop their knowledge, skills, confidence, and love for learning.
To all the teachers, parents, and grandparents, don’t forget to celebrate yourself, because you are playing an important role in helping the children to learn and grow!