As a result of COVID-19, lockdowns have been put into place, and schools, summer camps all over the world have been shut down. Due to this outcome, kids have been stuck at home all day with little to no reinforcement of learning. Furthermore, as children are stuck inside, it is not possible to avoid screen time, especially if parents are working from home. In her interview, science reporter Justine Calma found some recent data showing that “a majority of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 in the US are spending at least 50 percent more time in front of screens each day during the COVID-19 outbreaks.” Also, it is extremely difficult for children to avoid screen time when they are stuck at home. In his article, author Daniel Winther states, “As the COVID-19 pandemic shows, we are increasingly reliant on digital technology.” A simpler solution would be to use those electronics for educational purposes to help your child maintain their learning skills throughout this pandemic.
Clinical professor Karen Goldschmidt writes in her report, “Technology is best used to leverage and maintain social, physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well being for children, in an environment where children are co-engaged with an adult.” This raises the following question: how can parents engage their kids in continuous learning, while also balancing the appropriate amount of screen time?
Fortunately, there are many options:
The best way to engage your kids is if you are there with them, supporting them, and spending time with them. Help them with flashcards, projects, math problems, and even you can boost your knowledge.
Apply learning to the real world.
This is a great solution for a perfect balance between learning and having fun. For example, you could propose a baking challenge, and test your child on their measuring skills. Or, improve their science skills by bringing out a volcano model!
Create a schedule to meet everyone’s needs.
Constant learning will drain everyone’s energy. Make sure to include breaks in between studying, so that you don’t tire out your kid. Additionally, it establishes an incentive for your child to look forward to once they finish their work.
Monitor media use by using technology with your child.
By doing this, you can engage with your kid, yet still limit screen time. Pediatrician Corinn Cross writes in her column, “Even watching a family movie together can help everyone relax while you appreciate the storytelling and meaning that movies can bring.”
E-learning is another way of saying online learning, and it is a simple tool that you can use to have your child learn without your direct help. E-Learning Heroes mentions that many people recognize e-learning as a “slide-based online activity that contains simple navigation buttons and incorporates quizzes with true/false or multiple choice questions.” However, e-learning courses are much more than that. They can be very interactive and application-based, and can even allow your child to have a personal tutor to guide them on their learning journey. Many websites and institutions, including STEM Builders, carry through with a similar format as in-person courses. STEM Builders have the options that allow for students to participate in teacher-guided virtual discussions, or private tutoring if you want one-on-one classes. Alternatively, there are other possibilities involving app-based learning.
The most important thing to note when you are choosing the right e-learning course is to trust institutes that provide quality education. Rely on a company you are familiar with, or a company that has a good reputation, rather than not. To sum up, spend time with your children to help them and support them with their education. If you are unable to work from home, find time to be with your child when you can. Encourage their learning by finding the perfect balance between entertainment and education. In the end, all of this will provide an outcome that is beneficial for the whole family. Don’t let quarantine demotivate you!
So, parents, what do you think?
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