For those of us who switched to learning and working from home, it has been such an overwhelming experience. Personally, paying attention to a screen all through the teaching is challenging. Completing all the online assignments required is another arduous task. My organization skills were tested when we had to find the assignments on a website, download them, and upload the complete document into another different file.
The whole experience made me pity my teenagers to an extent. As much as they love staring at screens, the online sessions are draining for them. I did this for two days, but they have been up to it for months. Attending school on a computer all day is tough. The lack of structure, paying attention, and organizational skills can make one develop some online learning blues.
While online learning has its benefits, it has its drawbacks, and our kids are experiencing it daily. The lack of socialization and peer support which our kids were so much used to, contributes to mental issues such as anxiety and depression. The constant bad news everywhere, online and offline, doesn’t do anything to help the situation.
With all these challenges, how can we help our learners wade through these difficult waters?
- Give the kids a break. Times are hard for the children, and the significant changes experienced in learning have disrupted everyone’s life. Give the children a break, and don’t expect them to get straight A’s or B’s. The children are faced with so many challenges with online learning. Instead of being hard on them, show them that you understand what they are going through. Have conversations with them about the challenges of online learning, the pandemic, and any other difficulties they are going through. Right now, the kids need support and love from you.
- Communicate with schools. Some of the schools out there are going through the same uncharted waters, and it is also difficult for them. Some of the schools might have unrealistic expectations when it comes to online tests and assignments. Talk to your children’s school and know how you can help your kids finish their assignments and how not to have so high expectations from the kids. Communicate with the school about how you can both support the children.
- Take a break. As a parent, you must be having a really hard time. Challenges surround you from financial challenges, working from home, online learning for the kids, and much more. Give yourself a break and remember you are a human being and can get tired at times. Schedule 30 minutes for yourself daily to take a walk or go to the next room and relax. Take care of your sleep and health. As a parent, if you are strong, the rest of your family does much better.
All these are temporary challenges and will become history someday. We have gone through so much as a nation, and we came out shining. For now, focus on taking care of yourself and your family, and don’t let anything break you down.