The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed routines of millions families around the world. Robert Jenkins, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Education, offers five tips to help keep children’s education on track while they’re staying home. Read full article from UNICEF.
1. Plan a simple routine together
Try to establish an age-appropriate routine with play time and time for reading/story time in it. Use everyday activities as learning opportunities for the children. Make plans together with children when possible. (Even though routine is important and brings feeling of safety for children, keep in mind that some days flexibility might be needed – pay attention children’s needs and moods.)
2. Encourage children to open conversations
Encourage children to ask questions and express their feelings. Children have different reactions to stress, so be patient and understanding. Drawing, stories and other activities may help to open a discussion. Try not to minimize or avoid any of children’s concerns.
3. Start with short learning sessions
Start with shorter learning sessions and make them longer little by little. If the goal is to have a 30- or 45-minute session, start with 10 minutes. Within a session, combine online and offline activities.
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4. Limit screen time and talk about internet safety
Digital devices and platforms provide an opportunity for children to keep learning, take part in play and stay in touch with their friends and teachers. Nevertheless, all this has risks too. Discuss the use of digital devices and internet with the children. Establish rules together about how, when and where the digital devices and internet can be used and set up parental controls on the devices.
5. Stay in touch with your children’s preschool
Find out how to stay in touch with your children’s educators. Stay informed, ask questions and get more guidance. Chat groups with other families can also be a good way to support each other with your home schooling.
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