There are so many challenges that have come with the global Coronavirus lockdown, and we’re all struggling to make things work in this new, uncharted territory. But one thing that is for certain is that parents are being especially stretched, having to balance working from home and doing their own usual household tasks with the new challenge of helping their kids continue learning in the absence of traditional classroom education.
It’s become clear to many that engaging, motivating, and focusing a child on schoolwork is no easy feat. Here are some tips and ideas you can try out to help inspire your kids to learn while stuck at home.
Make it Fun
One way you can motivate your kids to learn at home is to make learning fun. After all, kids are driven by nothing if not a good time. Of course it will be difficult to encourage your kid to make it through a dreary math worksheet, but you’ll have a much easier time getting them to learn the same exact material if the method of delivery is more engaging.
We highly recommend looking into online learning for kids, which is specifically designed to be engaging for the appropriate age level. For example, there are a myriad of educational websites full of learning games in every subject from English to science to math and more. You might even get lucky and find educational games that your child loves so much that they’d rather do them than play a video game or watch a YouTube video.
Let Them Lead
Another tip to get your kids learning during lockdown is to let them take the lead in the process. In fact, that is a unique advantage of this time. With more freedom, your child can have the opportunity to learn about and explore the topics that are of special interest to them. After all, kids are naturally curious creatures and have an innate drive to learn about new things. Chances are, your child is teeming with questions and topics they want to learn more about.
So take this as an opportunity to get to know your child’s interests and encourage and facilitate their exploration of them. Is your kid an astronomy lover? Get them a children’s telescope. Do they love experimenting with mixing together different liquids from around the house? Consider finding them some chemistry experiments to do. Are they super into the history of ancient Egypt? There are sure to be some kid-friendly books and documentaries on the subject you can give them.
As a parent, you probably already know the power of rewards in disciplining and raising children. From praising your children when they use the potty for the first time to letting your teenager borrow your car after a week of good behaviour, rewards are one of the most powerful tools in the parenting box. And that tool is equally effective when it comes to motivating your child to learn.
Depending on your child’s age, personality, and interests, identify some appropriate rewards that are minor enough to be affordable and easy to give but special enough to make a difference. That might be a sticker, a healthy treat, twenty minutes of video game time, or something else - it’s up to you.
The important part is tying that reward to the achievement of certain learning goals. For example, you might give your child a reward if they manage to finish a certain number of pages in a book by the end of the day. The great thing about this method is that it’s so flexible and can be adjusted to fit your family’s particular needs.
If you can use these tips, you’ll tap into your child’s natural tendencies, interests, and desires to get them learning enthusiastically - and hopefully give you a spare moment to yourself.
Good luck and stay healthy!
Photo by Santi Vedrí on Unsplash
Elizabeth Agbor Eta
Project Director at GraphoGame.