In the world’s effort to flatten the curve during this COVID-19 outbreak, we are urged to stay home, practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene. But with approximately 89% of students population had to remain at home due to school closure, and exams like IGCSE taking place in June being cancelled, many parents are now worried and perplexed. If there aren’t any classes, what would be of their children’s education?
School’s are now resorting to e-learning but classes are often restricted to only a few hours in a day. This requires parents to step up and play a bigger role in making sure that their child is not getting behind in their studies. Here are some ways parents can consider in helping your child study during this Movement Restriction Order (MCO).
HAVE A DESIGNATED STUDY SPACE
It’s essential that your children have their own study space, even at a very young age. This promotes a focused space for them to study better. When your child takes charge of their own ‘territory’, they will be more motivated to finish their tasks. Ensure that space is well-lit and away from any distractions.
In this digital age, the internet is an amazing tool for studies, but also a huge distraction to children. Take one step further and instil a ‘communication blackout’ policy by removing any usage of computers or mobile devices until schoolwork is done. However, if they are required to use the computer for studies, parents can install parental control software that blocks social media and entertainment sites while they are studying.
TEACH THEM NOTE-TAKING METHODS
Children should not be cramming the whole textbook into their brain. Parents can teach your child effective note-taking methods such as the outline method, Cornell method, mapping method, boxing method or charting method. Taking notes effectively is important as it promotes an easier method of studying and your child will be more organized as well. Colourful highlighters are very useful fun tools for your child too. This good habit developed at an early age will help your child massively even in university. Click here for more reading on the different types of note-taking methods.
HAVE A STUDY SCHEDULE
Setting a study schedule enables consistency and efficiency in studying. This is also to ensure you and your child are able to keep track of their progress especially when exams are near. Of course, it doesn’t need to be a 7am-3pm kind of schedule. Since being quarantined can give them stress, try to be more lenient with their study time. Maybe four hours in the morning and another two in the evening and more for those who are having important exams coming up.
You can set the study schedule for your child if they are still young, but otherwise, train your child to do it themselves. Let your child assign topics and subjects to cover each day, leading up to a due date or exam. Do remember to include a 15 to 20 minutes break in between.
Training your child to be organised can start early as it is much easier to develop good habits when they are younger. As your child will already be juggling between schoolwork, tests, projects and extracurricular activities, you can start by having them to record their own schedule in a planner. Although you will have their schedule, let them keep track of their own schedule and update you. Your child should also have the habit to note down all their schoolwork.
DOWNLOAD LEARNING AND TELECONFERENCING APP
Since schools are resorting to e-learning this MCO, help your child to download teleconferencing applications like Zoom, Skype, or Google Classroom, whichever ones the teacher prefer using to deliver their lessons. You usually won’t have to pay for this, but be mindful to only download from official developers if you don’t want to be exposed to malware that could potentially harm your computer and get your personal details.
For students who are following the national syllabus, you can also head to sites like Pencil.my and Focus A to learn online during this quarantine. Edu Reviews will also launch our e-tuition portal where your children can get access to its materials for free! Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter to get updated.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO CREATE A STUDY GROUP
Having an occasional group study can help children to have a more interesting study session. Yes, it is still necessary to let your child study on their own but having occasional group study is also good for your child especially during this MCO. Surely they will miss interacting with their friends.
Plus, when they study in groups, they would be able to help each other when any of them are struggling to understand a topic. Hence, they will complete schoolwork or projects faster too.
A physical study group may not be possible during quarantine, but using applications downloaded earlier certainly will help to achieve the goal of group discussion. Do keep the study group small and structured and make sure to check on your kids from time to time, otherwise, the study group may turn into a playgroup instead!
GIVE THEM REWARDS
It’s not just children, even adults feel happy and more motivated when they are rewarded for a certain accomplishment. Studying at home certainly has its own set of challenges, so when your children are able to stay focus for a few hours of studying, don’t forget to give them rewards. Let them take an evening nap, make their favourite food for dinner, or allow them to watch their favourite shows longer than the normal school days.
As some parents will be required to work from home, we understand that it can be rather difficult for you to juggle your time to work, to do house chores while keeping your eyes on your children, especially if you don’t really understand their syllabus. Studies have shown children whose parents are involved in their education performs better in school.
Nevertheless, we encourage you to be involved as much as you can, although this doesn’t mean that you have to be with them all the time. Give them their space but always oversee. Just be creative and effective in your methods to help your child to study this MCO! Do share with us your methods in the comment box below!