Learning at Home: An Expert’s Tips on Teaching Your Kids During the Lockdown

Any parent will agree that the lockdown comes with some pros and cons! It gives you more time during the day and makes juggling house chores, work and spending time with your kids somewhat easier. But, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering if your child is losing out on learning important things during these months, while his school is shut. After all, these are crucial years, right?

Making your child learn during the lockdown is quite easy, especially when you involve elements of your daily life and, above all, have fun! Here’s how you can keep the learning process going even during the lockdown. To make it easier for you, we have an expert to break it all down for you! Check out what Rashmi Soin, a celebrated motivational speaker and parent coach has to say about learning during the lockdown, and follow her insightful tips to combine parenting and teaching in the modern day!

FirstCry Intelli presents to you, Learning Through the Lockdown, a Live Session with celebrated Parent Coach and Motivational Speaker, Mrs. Rashmi Soin.

FirstCry Intelli यांनी वर पोस्ट केले बुधवार, १३ मे, २०२०

How Do Kids Learn at Home?

Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you children learn through example. They pick up what their teachers, friends and parents do or say, rather than what they’re ‘told’ to do. Everyone needs their downtime, so spreading out a kid’s day between the parents, nanny, teachers and other caretakers gives each one some relief from being on their best behaviour. But what now, when the kid is around you 24 x 7? Since the child’s only source of learning is the family, you need to take care of the language you use, how you spend your time, and how you behave around each other. Yes, it may seem like a lot to take on, but this period won’t last forever and can also prove to be beneficial for you. You know those habits you’ve been meaning to kill? Or the hobbies you’ve been meaning to pursue? This is the best time to do all of that, and more!

So what exactly do kids learn from you? The answer is ‘EVERYTHING’. Right from the language you use to the little spurts of irritation with other family members, your child will observe and pick up everything you do and say. In her discussion, Rashmi Soin mentions that kids are constantly listening. So, if you tell a little white lie to your boss about not being able to work, your kid understands this and imbibes the same behaviour. He will also see how you treat certain family members and begin treating them the same way. So, know that you have a little soldier merrily running about the house, ready to mirror your actions. If you’re unsure of whether certain things would pass as acceptable, think ‘would I want my child to behave the same way?’ And you’ll have your answer!

Tips to Help Your Kids Learn at Home

Though it may seem like a huge task, helping your kids learn at home is quite easy, and only requires some minor adjustments and additions. Here are some ways in which you can help your child learn at home during the lockdown.

1. Reduce Screen Time

child on computer

There’s a reason this is first on the list, and that’s because the temptation to simply switch on a cartoon while your child is bored or throws a tantrum will arise multiple times a day during this time. And why not, right? Parents are not as active as their kids, who need some form of stimulation most of the day, plus they’re busy with house chores and work. Rashmi Soin talks about minimising screen time and, instead, focusing on physical activities that switch the brain from a passive to an active state. If you don’t have many puzzles or games at home, you can even make easy ones at home that don’t require much material and will keep your child occupied for hours.

2. Present House Problems

The number one way to help your kids learn is by making them think. Present your child with simple problems in everyday life. Asking your child for a solution will make him feel valued and responsible and stimulate logical reasoning. If you have a meeting with your boss at 12 p.m but have to finish 2 chores before that, ask your child to help you find a way to manage your time so you get all of this done. According to Rashmi Soin, problem-solving aids cognitive development and ensures the learning process continues at home.

3. DIY All the Way

mom and kid DIYing

When we say DIY, we don’t just mean building or making things at home, but rather any activity or game that can easily be performed at home by your child. Once you get into the zone, you’ll see how easily everyday objects available at home can help with development. Rashmi Soin recommends cutting shapes out of cardboard and asking your child to string them together while calling out the names. You can even do this with numbers and alphabets. Another activity she suggests is to mix dry rajma and chole in a bowl and ask your child to sort it, This, she says, will greatly help in developing fine motor skills.

4. Spend Quality Time

Getting caught up with office and housework can sometimes make you lose out on quality time with your child, even at home. But, this is the best time to bond with your child while getting some much-needed relaxation at the end of a long day. A superb tip by Rashmi Soin is to play some games with the family every night. You could choose a new game every night, such as Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, etc. If you run out of board games, do not fret, for there are also games that only require a paper and pencil (or your mind), such as Name-Place-Animal-Thing or Tic-Tac-Toe. Trust us, this will be your favourite time of the day, and, who knows, will be a tradition you continue even after the lockdown ends!

5. Read, Read, Read

mom reading to kids

Reading to your child has a number of benefits, right from improving vocabulary to explaining concepts that would otherwise be tough for him to comprehend. Rashmi Soin emphasises on the importance of reading to your child every day, whether it be during the day or before bedtime. It nurtures imagination and helps kids learn the most basic of concepts that we take for granted, such as that English words are read from left to right and the story continues even after a page is flipped. Once you complete a story, ask your child questions like ‘what did you learn from the story?’, ‘Which character is your favourite?’, ‘What would you do if you were ‘abc’ character?’ etc. to get increase retention and also enhance creativity. Moral stories are another great way to teach values to your child with interesting storylines and colourful illustrations. This is the best time to read to your child as much as you can for optimal development.

6. Set a Routine

While you set aside time every day to bond with your child through activities, don’t forget about the most important life skill of all. Discipline! Set a routine for yourself as well as your little one. Have a set time for house chores, work, playtime, game hour, TV time, and more. It’s easy to become too relaxed during the lockdown and do things at your own pace, but your little one is constantly learning from you. Since he is not going to school, where he learns discipline through mapped out hours, you have to create the same atmosphere of sticking to a routine at home. Of course, Sundays are to chill, as always!

7. Focus on Independence

child playing alone

Many parents are fixated on how not to avoid spoiling their child too much. Going to playschool and meeting others gives kids a sense of independence, but how do you do the same at home? Since you have a bit more time during the day to dote on your little one, make sure you don’t overdo it. Teach your child to feed himself, choose his own clothes, etc. and take small decisions during the day to assert his independence. You don’t want to make a habit out of doing everything for your child, so try to do everything you can to minimise the change.

A child’s learning process continues even at home, and more so during the lockdown. Taking active steps to teach your child life skills, enhance his development, and learning and make him a more disciplined person is made easy with just a few adjustments to your routine!

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