Home-Based Learning (HBL) is slowly becoming the new norm, with students, teachers and parents familiarising themselves with digital devices in order to continue the pursuit of knowledge.
Wondering how to enjoy HBL with your child or how you can get through it? Look no further! From concerns of screen time to helping your child acclimatise to online learning while juggling other responsibilities, we have you covered!
The Coding Lab Team has specially curated a list of tips for you and your child to navigate this HBL successfully. Take deep breaths and read them below!👇
Tip #1. Create a conducive environment for learning
Did you know?
Good learning environments can increase one’s motivation, focus and general learning ability.
Ensuring a conducive learning environment is fundamental to the quality of your kid’s learning. So, what are some ways that you can create the ideal learning environment and help your child to learn better?
- Let them study in a brightly or naturally lit environment without the use of fluorescent lamps. Children in these environments tend to perform better!
- The state of your child’s study space can determine their learning ability and life habits, so encourage them to organise their study area. This reduces visual distractions, which improves focus and memory. It also helps that you are building good lifelong habits in them!
- Too many members in your household at home? Discuss and decide on the house rules and map out the areas to learn, work, rest, and bond. Your child could do HBL at the tidy dining table while you work in the living room. This way, everyone has the perfect environment to work and study in!
Tip #2. Plan daily routine
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Did you know that planning a daily routine with your kid also encourages them to take ownership of their learning?
Unlike in schools where there are teachers to supervise your child, you may not always be available to watch over them, nor make certain that they are doing their work. In this case, it is crucial that you establish a structured routine with them.
Guide your child to plan their own HBL days and set their own learning goals. This will help your child to get into the right mindset, be more productive and keep the boundaries between work and home from blurring.
- Consider when to study, play and eat together, which will teach your child to be disciplined and to stay on track.
- Ensure that mealtimes are consistent (balanced and nutritious) to provide nourishment for your growing children.
- Make sure that your child changes out of his/her pyjamas before HBL starts! This will serve as a cue to start the school day.
Need a planner template?
The Coding Lab team has created a printable planner for you. Print it out and put it on the fridge, use a whiteboard, Google or Apple calendar – try it out and find out what works best!
Tip #3. Inculcate healthy digital device habits
Did you know?
You can control and monitor your child’s screen time with Digital Wellbeing on Android devices and Screen Time on Apple devices. Beyond simply restricting your kid’s access, educate them on how they can take responsibility for their own online well-being.
With full HBL, the age at which children use digital devices and are encouraged to get one of their own is getting younger. Healthy digital device habits are necessary for our digital economy, with the widespread use of digital devices. What are these “healthy digital device habits”? It refers to using the Internet responsibly, minimising screen time and taking regular eye breaks!
Follow ROLE to cultivate healthy screen use habits:
- Review your child’s and your own screen use, so you can be a role model for your little one.
- Offer fun screen-free alternatives to engage your kid. For example, have them do off-screen activites with family-friendly games such as Jenga or a family exercise session together.
- Limit your child’s screen time and ensure that there are consequences to violating their amount of screen time allocated.
- Eliminate unneeded background screen time, such as the TV, to avoid distracting your child.
Additionally, enforce regular eye breaks. We make it compulsory for our students to take eye breaks every hour – whether they are doing physical or online classes. This instills good eye care habits, and we all know the benefits of having breaks – it gives us a breather and helps us to be productive and stay focused. Set a timer and look out of the window at something green together with your child, and reap the benefits together!
Tip #4. Have regular check-ins
At the end of the day, make time to have regular conversations with your child. Such check-ins can help them feel supported and cared for. Ask your child about their day gently, but be sure to listen attentively! Simple questions such as ‘How was your day?’, ‘What did you learn in class today?’ and ‘How is your daily routine?’ can spark a meaningful conversation.
It is essential for you to model this behaviour by sharing about your day too. How was your own day? You can take the opportunity to bond with your child and affirm him/her for the resilience and learning to adapt to the current situation, encourage your child to explore strengths and interests, and help them work through any issues that they might need help with. You can also involve other family members and check in on their well-being.
This is also a good chance for you to exemplify how the topics they have learnt in their textbooks and assignments work in real life. For instance, if your child is learning about lipids in school, you could make a cup of Dalgona coffee with them and explain the science behind how lipid compounds in coffee oil help to form a stable coffee foam that you can pour over milk. You can even get creative and make latte art together too!
Wondering what to talk about?
Here are some conversation starters and topics.
- Do you require any guidance or assistance?
- Is there something that you want to do or learn more about?
- How do you feel about the current COVID-19 situation?
Tip #5. Have ‘me time’
‘Me time’ is a need for daily functioning, not a want. It also increases productivity! By making a conscious effort to take the time out to relax, it can release stress and tension, and increase motivation.
MOE announced that HBL would enable students to have the time and space to explore their areas of interests by initiating learning activities independently. Let your child read up on topics of interest or try out activities they are passionate about, such as tinkering, baking or playing a musical instrument (why not give coding a try?).
But, ‘me time’ shouldn’t only be reserved for your child! Yes, even if you are a responsible parent, you still need your own personal time. We know that working from home and supervising your kids can be tough and require more of your attention. All this parenting can have a mental and physical strain on you. Making time for yourself to rest and recharge is paramount in preventing severe burnout during this time. Play your favourite movie, contact your friend for a chat or take a jog — just find time for your personal relaxation! Remember, taking care of yourself is the first step to taking care of your children.
We hope these five tips will help you in getting through HBL with your dear child (or children!), and do share this article with your friends and family if you found it useful!
Now that you’ve read our article on what you can do to get through your child’s HBL, why not learn even more tips to make your child’s digital journey the best it can be? From proper typing posture to digital security, read What You should know Post-Circuit Breaker now to learn more and gear up for when Hybrid classes make a comeback! 😉
Need more resources? You can check out the Parent Kit curated by MOE. Remember to stay home, stay safe and stay curious! 🤩
(Written by Amanda Soh and Edited by Cheryl Tang)
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