As the world grapples with Coronavirus pandemic, life is changing rapidly for parents following the lockdown of major sectors, including education.
With the escalating spread of the pandemic, the Nigerian government has ordered the shutdown of all schools across the country while all have been asked to practice social distancing and to maintain personal hygiene.
To cushion the effects of the shutdown on education, Kwara, Lagos, and Ogun states announced plans to support primary school pupils and senior secondary students preparing for their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) through some Radio and Television Programmes.
As millions of school pupils have been pushed to observe the stay-at-home break, the pandemic has also put a strain on many parents who have now been turned into teachers who walk their children through lessons and topics at home.
As the bulk of the responsibility falls on the parents, PREMIUM TIMES reached to educationists who reveal best practices for home-schooling.
‘Establish a sense of routine’
Parents should establish a sense of school routine for their children in order to get them into the study mode, an educationist, Aron Monica, said.
She explained that the method would favour parents who work remotely from home more as it would allow them enough time to go around their businesses while homeschooling their wards.
To achieve this, she said, a study plan should be drawn in line with the school curriculum.
“Parents may need to get the school curriculum from their children’s teachers and draw out a study plan in line with it,” she said.
‘Use online learning resources’
Ms Monica advised parents to also use the online resources in helping their wards get better educational value.
Expressing a similar view, the Head Digital Innovation, Skool Media, Idris Oladipo, said parents should explore the online open-source platforms in designing the study plan,” he said.
“Parents should create a study plan for their wards and leverage existing open-source platforms like YouTube learning, YouTube for kids, Google Classroom, Teacher Tube, TEDx Education platform to create content or access content to support students learning,” he said.
For Samuel Meroyi, a lecturer of the Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Ibadan, parents should make use of available books or improvised learning materials as an alternative to online academic resources for less privileged families.
‘Keep track of progress’
Keeping track of the child’s progress is important and gives the parent and the child a sense of achievement once the break elapses, Mr Meroyi said.
“It is good when parents can directly monitor their wards’ studies,” he said.
He, however, cautioned parents not to be too harsh on the young learners, especially, when they are not getting the necessary cooperation from them.
‘Encourage virtual playdates, educational movies’
For Mr Oladipo, it is important that the holidaying pupils engage in some recreational or social activities like connecting with friends and relatives on Google Hangout or email.
To leverage homework with play, he said they may be allowed to watch some enlightening movies like Queen of Katwe.
“Allow them to watch some really enlightening movies like Queen of Katwe. Get them to write a summary. Give feedback and share some lessons,” he said.
‘Embrace family time’
The stay-at-home break might be a blessing, as it could serve as a platform for some family moments and point of reflection, Odilim Ewegbara, a public analyst said.
He explained that giving children the chance to express themselves while learning about family heritage is the first port of socialisation.
“Giving them (children) the platform to express themselves is the first step to socialising and this boosts their morale and outspokenness beyond the family circle discourse,” he said.