The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on many parents around the world including parents in Bali, Indonesia trying to teach their kids while school is out.
Schools across the country are canceled or closed, some indefinitely, as COVID-19 continues to spread. This has left many parents stressed or confused about what to do with them and how to keep them learning while they’re stuck at home.
Many working parents have been instructed to work from home. Because of this forced or volunteer social distancing, many parents are now dealing with the new normal of having to work while parenting full time.
Keep in mind, those who work remotely tend to be wealthier with bigger spaces. This quarantine can be extra challenging for multi-generational families, families living in close quarters and multi-family homes.
For many parents, teaching their kids at home is something they’ve never had to do before. So it’s important to remember that your homeschooling techniques, whatever they are, don’t have to be perfect or like regular school, experts suggest. “You’ve been thrown into a situation that is unfamiliar and somewhat scary,” Amber Mathison, founder of the online educational resource ABC’s to ACTs, told TODAY. “Your ‘school day’ will not be perfect, and that’s OK. Just try to remember that you’re both adjusting to something new and there will be some bumps along the way.”
Schools and teachers around the world are mobilizing to roll out instruction. Many are showing entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, and the ad hoc home-school universe is awash in ideas and resources. District leaders are working long hours, trying their best to serve kids.
While larger districts have at times struggled with communication and rollout, some schools and districts are showing a nimbler and collaborative approach. Achievement First, a charter network with schools in multiple states including Rhode Island, has jumped in and offered to share all resources with the Providence Public School District, which is under a state takeover for low performance.
And Chiefs for Change, an organization of state and local education leaders, is hosting a virtual forum for school districts to share how they are collaborating with charter schools during this crisis. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, those jurisdictions struggling to support online coursework will catch up and find workarounds for students without access to technology, learning from the more entrepreneurial players
The temporary closure of schools in Jakarta, as well as in some other Indonesian cities including Bali, since last march in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has added a new challenge for parents and guardians of the now studying-from-home children. Especially for parents who are also working remotely, making sure the children follow the learning schedule given by the school and keeping them occupied at home until bed time are no easy tasks. Two parents, shared their tips on how to best prepare and accompany their children while they are learning from home:
- Make efforts to boost their enthusiasm
One of parents who are their children currently in grade 3 of elementary school in Denpasar, told that he had received a set of schedules from the school that consists of Monday-to-Friday activities from 8 a.m. to around 6 p.m.
Parents are required to download several applications to make the learning process more efficient, such as video and audio conferencing platform Zoom and educational app Edmodo. Although the teachers explained about the schedules to the students, the parent still sought confirmation from his daughter. “I asked her: ‘How was the explanation from the school? Did you take notes? Did you understand it? What else do you need other than a smartphone?’” said the parents, adding that he had also bought new stationery as requested by his children in order to boost her enthusiasm prior to entering the remote learning time.
The parents also tried to spark his daughter’s interest by trying out the Zoom application prior to the learning-from-home period. “I asked her to check Zoom together and I made it more engaging by experimenting with it.”
- Explain more than once
A mother whose son is still in kindergarten in Jakarta, said the school only gave her a set of activities that can be done at home. “The kindergarten implements the Montessori method, so it doesn’t have a particular target in its learning process,” mother said. “My son is also about to enter elementary school in July, so his schedule isn’t quite packed.” Invented by Italian educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori method focuses on children’s independence, freedom and development. Prior to the remote learning period, mother explained to her son several times that they would stay at home for 14 days. “I also made a daily schedule for us. Hence, he doesn’t get bored because everything has been planned.”
- Encourage self-discipline and teamwork
For parents, sticking to the schedules is important. The schedules for kids might include several activities, such as waking up, having breakfast, doing sports, taking a nap and screen time. As a working parent who doesn’t hire a nanny, parent usually puts her son in a daycare.
When parent created the schedule, parent should be discussing it with the children and asked him to collaborate with her. As an example you can told your children: ‘You’re usually tended by four people – one cook, one caregiver and two teachers – at the daycare, while I’m alone [at home] and I have to do all of them, so we need to work together’’
- Set up designated space and time for learning.
Kids may need to move around during the day, but expert suggests having one or two designated areas for learning. Have your kids pack up their materials into a basket so they can put them aside when they’re finished.
Same goes for time. While it’s good to have a general daily routine, you can also be flexible. It’s OK to let your kids sleep in a little later than usual — research shows many of our children and teens are chronically sleep-deprived. Plus, most homeschoolers don’t teach seven hours straight a day. Shoot for two to four good academic hours instead. And don’t forget to get outside — learning happens outdoors too.
- Be forgiving of yourself and your kid.
This is a very stressful time. If you need to put on a movie to get through the day, that’s absolutely fine. Experts says, “You don’t have to home school if it’s really going to cause severe emotional distress for everyone involved. And I think that’s really important for parents to hear right now because we all feel so much personal pressure.”
In the end assessments should be informative and not used to measure or rate schools or teachers during this time of outbreak. Without this, it will be impossible to know the extent of the challenge and where resources should be deployed to deal with it. The government should pay more attention on how the school must react when it comes to the evaluation of each student because we cannot generalize how parents teach their kids especially when it comes to catching up with the technology.
Our expectations for the remainder of this school year should be low. Our teachers are trying their best, but their hands are often tied by bureaucracy, limited student access to technology, the lack of lead time to prepare for this situation and the limited effectiveness of delivering school remotely. Results will range from lackluster to catastrophic, with the largest burden falling on the poorest kids.
Schools also will need resources for more socio-emotional support. Experts notes that for students in difficult home situations, the time away from school could be “a total disaster.” Schools will be dealing with students who have faced trauma (from financial crisis to domestic violence) and potentially students grieving the loss of loved ones because of the contagion. Before the regular school reopen later, we should have at least counseling session for those student who needed it. Students of color and low-income students already are disproportionately underserved by counseling, and a significant body of evidence suggests that lower ratios of school counselors to students improve student outcomes across a broad range of domains, including student grades, attendance, behavior and graduation.
We still have a lot of things to adjust but with the effort with all of people who are involved in this situation we could make the method works for each individual student after the coronavirus outbreak end.