COVID 19 – Guidelines for Parents on Engaging Children during the Lockdown
During this time of uncertainty and unexpected school closures, we understand that this has implications for children’s learning. Beaconhouse has therefore set up an online platform called Beaconhouse Schooling Uninterrupted (BSU). BSU offers a unique opportunity for us all to work together to ensure the continuity of education and meaningful academic engagement of our students. The BSU platform supports the learning of students at home through interactive activities, online games and quizzes, instructional videos and presentations, assignments, online student teacher conferences, and online real-time classes.
In order for BSU to be successful, we must together ensure that the online learning experience is productive for all those involved. Whereas most of the middle and secondary school children can direct their own learning, the Early Years’ and Primary school children may need adult support in order to access materials and manage their time.
The following guidelines can help to create a safe space for your child’s learning, whilst maintaining their emotional and physical well-being.
Help your child cope with the stress: Children may respond to stress in different ways. Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way and let them know you are there for them. Listen to their concerns and take time to comfort them and give them affection, praise them frequently and make them feel safe. Answer questions that they may have with accurate information without causing undue alarm.
Make a schedule: Research shows that children thrive on routines, as routines give children a sense of security. Set up a schedule for waking up, eating, and learning activities and fun things to do. This will help you and your child feel normalcy while also maintaining discipline
Allocate a learning space: Try to designate a desk or an area in a quiet corner of the house, where your child can continue to work on their tasks and assignments.
Support/Monitor online live teaching sessions: BSU offers two forms of online real time learning sessions, Student-Teacher conferences and live classrooms. Consult the timetable shared by the school and make sure that your child is attending all scheduled online real-time classes and student-teacher conferences. During real time sessions, ensure your child has all the necessary equipment with them, with devices fully charged. In case your child is unable to attend a live classroom make sure they access the recorded session on BSU.
Support completion and submission of assignments: Learning on BSU is supported through a wide range of interactive activities, online games and quizzes, instructional videos and presentations, assignments. Teachers will regularly be sending learning activities and assignment and collecting those as evidence of your child’s work. Please communicate and support your child to work in this environment. Young children need adult support to access online material and carry out the planned activities. Older children need to be encouragement to complete their assignments and submit them to their teachers.
Discuss learning: Encourage your child to talk about their learning with you and other people at home. Ask them to share the best thing or anything new they have learnt during the day.
Plan interesting and engaging activities: Give your child time to focus on fun activities like DIY (Do It Yourself) science experiments, arts and crafts, watching documentaries and educational videos.
Take out time for physical activity: Being physically active is an essential ingredient for the health and well-being of your child. Take out time for physical activities. Age appropriate exercises have been included on BSU for all classes.
Strengthen the family bond: Find ways that help the family members bond with each other; create an exercise routine together, bake some desserts, watch shows/movies or simply play board games together
Help your child socialize with their peers: It is really important for children to communicate with their friends as it keeps them connected and decreases the feeling of isolation. Your child can use social media or telephone etc. under adult supervision to socialize with their peers. You may want to set some ground rules for how mobile phones and other devices are used during the day.
Make good use of technology: While it is essential to limit your child’s screen activity, don’t forget that, when used properly, technology can be a great way to engage your child and supplement their learning. Remind your child to take screen time breaks. Guide your children on how to be safe and respectful online and do not leave young children unsupervised while handling technology. Get to know the apps that your child uses and monitor how much they use them. Talk to them about things they came across whilst online. Talk about issues that are worrying your child and get them factual information from reliable sources. Report or block any pages that are spreading content which is upsetting or inappropriate
Talk with your children about who their friends really are, people that they have met and would recognize. Encourage your child to remove any unknown contacts. Check that they have appropriate privacy settings on their apps. Encourage more family time, to avoid them feeling isolated. Consider limiting the amount of time that they are on their phone or introduce a curfew for social media use. Talk to your child about keeping personal information private. Block popups and spam emails on devices.
Emphasize on good hygiene: Make sure your child is regularly and thoroughly washing their hands with soap and water. Ensure that your child follows good respiratory hygiene. This means covering their mouth and nose with their bent elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Also let your child know that they should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth as hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses which can get transferred to your eyes, nose or mouth and from there into the body and can make you sick.
At Beaconhouse, the channel of communication is always open. Since this is an evolving situation, information gets outdated fast, but we will do our best to continue to keep you updated. The prevailing uncertainty may lead to anxiety, but our priority is to help support and guide the learning experiences for all the Beaconhouse students. We would like to reassure you of our commitment to your child’s continued education and will endeavor to do our best to support all children and parents throughout these exceptional times.
You may also like to refer to the FAQs for parents for further clarity at: https://bsu.beaconhouse.net/faqs/