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How To Help Your Kids Adjust to Online School

Help your kids strike the right balance to help them thrive

BY Naledi K

Aug 17, 2021, 12:36 PM

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Gone are the days when long-distance learning was reserved for Unisa students. Life has changed dramatically since the world got hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result, a large portion of what used to be normal has changed.

Both adults and kids have been forced into changing what had almost become automatic behaviour, like the going to school routine. 
"Even though things are slowly looking to return to what they used to be, we are unlikely to return to the ways of old, which means it is best to set up your child for success when it comes to adjusting to schooling online."
Since the pandemic hit, parents have gone from limiting their kids to two hours of screen time to being unsure when school ends and leisure time starts. The change in how school is done upset a lot of routines across the country and the world routines that anchored most families. It is therefore totally understandable when both parents and kids find themselves frustrated. It also adds to a load of problems when the change demands that both parties participate in making the new environment work for them.

As a parent, you want to see your child be happy and thrive. Even though these little human beings have proven more resilient than adults would have assumed, the kids still need mommy to hold their hands in order to properly find their feet in the new way of doing things. These tips could be a starting point.

Prioritise The Kid’s Mental Health

If you are a typical African parent, your reaction to heading is probably “what mental health? The kid is 9!”. But the new age parents know exactly what I mean. They know that the change has affected their kid mentally and that they have to prioritise their child’s feelings and thoughts as they navigate the changes. 

Ask her how she feels about not seeing her classmates every day or how he feels that he can’t see his favourite English teacher who always gives him candy bars when he gets the activities right. Make sure that they know that their feelings - no matter what they are - are valid and you are there for them.

Create New Daily Routines And Expectations

The sure thing about human beings is that even as the world around us changes consistently, we find a way to sink our teeth into new routines even within the chaos. That said, a routine is very important for a child in school. 

Setting up and maintaining structure and consistency will provide a comforting sense of predictability for learners that is very vital to their success.

Establish A Dedicated Physical Space

Just as entering the classroom tells your child that learning is about to take place, having a corner set up with a chair and table dedicated to doing school work will go a long way in helping your child understand that once they sit there, school is in session. 

It is important that you remind your child that the same expectations that were on them at their physical school still exist. Separate their leisure screen or online time from their school time and make sure they step away from their screen every once in a while to take a walk in the garden or go play.