Man
02
Jun

The end of school year – What does it mean for kids and parents?

The end of the school year has come sooner than anticipated, leaving many parents having to accommodate their work schedule to still manage schooling alternatives for their children. Most countries have canceled the school year due to COVID-19.  Some countries around the world are still considering the decision of re-opening schools for children and what the safety precautions and procedures may look like if they do. 

Although kids are safer at home and not physically interacting with other kids and teachers from their school, it is a challenge for many parents and little kids to make this shift from classroom based teaching to online classes, including virtual video calls and other use of technology. Kids are accustomed to a classroom setting, socializing with other kids, hands on activities, physical learning with teachers, and outdoor activities. Schools have been out for a few months now and children are forced to sit at home and study online with no interaction and fun with their friends. Will this be the new norm for months ahead?

GSGF would first like to acknowledge, thank and appreciate teachers for putting in hard work and making sure their students are getting the most out of home schooling, such as keeping up with assignments and video calls. Parents deserve a round of applause for balancing their work schedules with their children’s schooling to assist them and as well as making time to practice subject materials with them when video calls are not in session. Students also should be recognized for pushing forward and adjusting to new settings. With that being said, how does online teaching really work? 

Kids are required to spend  a certain amount of time during the day to interact with their teachers online. They are taught as well as given assignments to complete. This varies by grade of the kids. Parents play an important role in online studies mainly because little ones need a parent’s presence to handle laptop/iPad; older kids may or may not have their own laptop. Hence they would need a parent’s laptop who may be working from home too. 

How can parents keep kids engaged? 

This is very important since parents are busy working from home too. To ensure that kids are not just glued to the television or are busy playing non-educational games, consider a timetable that is easy to follow. 

Kids need a break during the day, so after school work, giving your child a fruit or snack break is essential. Also, involve them in arts and crafts such as drawing and painting or games that can benefit them such as thinking games or fun math and word games.  Going outside for some fresh air and exercise is also a great idea, especially if the  weather is great to take advantage of. Walking your pet or playing outdoor games is a creative and fun way to exercise, your child won’t even know that they are working out! Keeping them engaged is very important for their mind, body and soul. Especially during these hard times and having to stay home most of the time, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that you as a parent can join in as well!

There are many online events that are great for children and parents who are home and are running out of ideas of keeping themselves engaged, or simply want to try something different.  Parents can get their kids in a Cooking class according to their age, play educational game and join learning classes that target subjects that your child may need more practice in, they can join in a science program online which are great for kids who like hands on activities and testing out their hypothesis. Boys and girls who enjoy hockey or soccer can set up their own net in the car lane or backyard to unwind from school work. 

There are various free online yoga, painting, dance and art classes sessions where you have the opportunity to expand your skills and imagination! 

Keep checking the emails from school and even the school website for various resources they are offering to keep children busy. For example, some schools are offering free dance classes to keep little minds entertained. The music department may have events where your child can sing, dance, learn about instruments and listen to music.  If you would like to try something different, there are many free and paid events to choose from online, just search what you are looking for and sign up to learn a new skill. 

Also check your local town and YMCA for online classes and events that they conduct everyday. 

Summer is here  and there are talks about cancelling summer camps. For working parents, it is really hard to keep kids indoors and work at the same time. While some may not agree with this decision, do you really think kids can maintain social distance  from each other? Do you think kids will keep their masks on? There are many factors as to why summer camps may be cancelled and if so, what can parents do?  If your job or work environment allows you to work from home , it may be easier to keep your child at home with you. But if you have to go out, start making arrangements. The time is tough but don’t let it ruin the summer; have fun in the sun and remain happy and productive!

Managing work or home along with kids can become challenging. Whether you work or stay at home, catering to the needs of the family for a full day is no joke.  If you are an essential worker, managing everything along with the fear of bringing home infection can be overwhelming and stressful too. Many people have lost their jobs in this pandemic and keeping yourself calm along with handling homeschooling can be quite challenging. 

 Keep your kids busy and engaged to keep yourself sane. Take some time off and play with kids. Celebrate weekends and let it go sometimes. It is a very challenging time for parents and children but there is always a way to make things work as long as you stay positive. 

To all parents, you’re doing a great job with handling work and your child’s education. Keep up the good work!

By Jennifer Parra

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