Hi Family. The present COVID 19 Pandemic has presented many challenges for families, as well as the Education system concerning the new school term, October to December 2020.
In light of this situation, there are some parents who are opting to Home-School their little ones. So what is Home-Schooling? “Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.” https://www.familyeducation.com
Giving more information about Home-Schooling, was the Ministry of Education, through its TV series, “Class Time”, which began airing from October 5, the 1st day of the official new school term.
In this article, we combine information shared by Dr. Euphemia Burke-Robinson, Acting Registrar for the Independent Schools Unit, with advice from other classroom professionals, to help make this exciting new frontier of Home-Schooling, more manageable for you.
Benefits of Home-Schooling
• Classes can be customized according to the student’s needs, which is less likely in the Public School System.
• Class sizes are smaller, allowing more attention to the student(s)
• Parents/guardians can have greater influence over the student’s learning.
• Home-Schooling allows families to exercise religious rights.
• This system can prove economical for families.
• Generally speaking, parents can opt for Home-Schooling for a variety of reasons.
How to customise learning for Home-Schooling
• Get to know your children better
• Do an “interest audit” by researching their learning styles. For example, is the child a “Physical (kinesthetic) learner”? This means, does he/she learn by touching things? Learn more about these styles from learning-styles-online.com
• Parents/guardians should engage the Education Ministry, by registering with the Independent Schools Unit. This will ensure that education officers are assigned to monitor the child’s progress. Parents/Guardians desirous of establishing Home-Schools must make contact with Dr Euphemia Burke-Robinson in the Independent Schools’ Unit via email at email@example.com.
Limited Social Development challenges- How to address them
Like everything in life, there are the downsides. However, there are ways to address them.
• Planned activities. Because of the child being less exposed to other children, parents have to exert deliberate efforts to ensure that Social Development is addressed. This will require planning activities such as road trips, or interaction with other children to provide social interaction. According to Dr Burke-Robinson, there is a Home Schools Association (HSA), and this entity organises Sports Day activities, which your Home School can participate in.
• Learning communities. Be a part of other learning groups, such as chat rooms.
• Phone contact. Another method is a simple phone call. Children can experience social interaction by speaking to friends and family members.
Tips for Home School learning
• Identify a safe space for instruction with comfortable furniture. This could be a room, verandah, dining table or other safe space.
• Ensure that the location is properly ventilated and lit.
• Soothing music in the background can also stimulate and enhance learning.
• Make a timetable for classes. This provides structure.
• Don’t be too rigid. Even if there is a timetable, make it flexible, after all, the child may not want to do a subject on a particular day for some reason.
• Let the child contribute to developing the timetable. This will make the child feel a part of the system, and therefore more cooperative.
• Get the child in the habit of getting ready for school, as he/she would for a regular school. No pajamas!
• Provide the required tools and materials. There are many free resources available online.
• Create a sense of normalcy.
• Cater to age groups according to their abilities.
• For younger children, ensure that they are constantly monitored.
• Parents, familiarise yourselves with the learning platforms.
• Give rewards when they do well or cooperate.
• Make it fun! Allow the children to have fun breaks outside. Also, Parents/Guardians this is an adventure for everybody! We are all learning!
• And most importantly, praise and worship our Heavenly Father, who will ensure that our debut in Home-Schooling is a success.
God’s willing, we share more with you next issue.
By Carmen Barrett