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Tips from parents on helping children study at home during COVID-19 outbreak

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, March 19, 2020  /  03:56 pm
Tips from parents on helping children study at home during COVID-19 outbreak

Especially for parents who are also working remotely, making sure children follow the learning schedule given by the school and keep them occupied at homeĀ until bed time are no easy tasks. (Shutterstock/BONNINSTUDIO)

The temporary closure of schools in Jakarta, as well as in some other Indonesian cities, since last week in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has added a new challenge for parents and guardians of the now studying-from-home children.

Especially for parents who are also working remotely, making sure the children follow the learning schedule given by the school and keeping them occupied at home until bed time are no easy tasks.

Two parents in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java, shared their tips with The Jakarta Post on how to best prepare and accompany their children while they are learning from home: 

Make efforts to boost their enthusiasm

Rizki Fajar Nugraha, whose daughter is currently in grade 3 of elementary school in Bandung, told the Post that he had received a set of schedules from the school that consists of Monday-to-Friday activities from 8 a.m. to around 6 p.m. Parents are required to download several applications to make the learning process more efficient, such as video and audio conferencing platform Zoom and educational app Edmodo.

Although the teachers explained about the schedules to the students, Rizki still sought confirmation from his daughter. “I asked her: ‘How was the explanation from the school? Did you take notes? Did you understand it? What else do you need other than a smartphone?’” said Rizki on Monday, adding that he had also bought new stationery as requested by his daughter in order to boost her enthusiasm prior to entering the remote learning time.

Rizki also tried to spark his daughter’s interest by trying out the Zoom application prior to the learning-from-home period. “I asked her to check Zoom together and I made it more engaging by experimenting with it."

Explain more than once

Annisa Steviani, a mother whose son is still in kindergarten in Jakarta, said the school only gave her a set of activities that can be done at home.

“The kindergarten implements the Montessori method, so it doesn’t have a particular target in its learning process,” Annisa said. “My son is also about to enter elementary school in July, so his schedule isn’t quite packed.”

Invented by Italian educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori method focuses on children’s independence, freedom and development.

Prior to the remote learning period, Annisa explained to her son several times that they would stay at home for 14 days. “I also made a daily schedule for us. Hence, he doesn’t get bored because everything has been planned.”

Read also: Studying from home: Seven online learning platforms for students

Encourage self-discipline and teamwork

For Annisa, sticking to the schedules is important. Her schedules for her son include several activities, such as waking up, having breakfast, doing sports, taking a nap and screen time.

As a working mother who doesn’t hire a nanny, Annisa usually puts her son in a daycare. When she created the schedule, she discussed it with her son and asked him to collaborate with her. “I told him: ‘You’re usually tended by four people – one cook, one caregiver and two teachers – at the daycare, while I’m alone [at home] and I have to do all of them, so we need to work together’'."

Allocate a short break

Although the school’s schedule isn’t quite full, Rizki said it was helpful, particularly in keeping her daughter busy at home. Together with his wife, they remind her when the learning time has started and encourage her to use her time efficiently.

“Therefore, she will still have time to, at least, rest on her bed or watch her favorite film for a while before entering the next session,” he said.

Explain about coronavirus

Amid the outbreak, it is necessary to educate the children about coronavirus. Annisa told her son how the disease can spread and why they need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“I always ask him to watch videos about the statements from the President or Jakarta governor together,” she said. “We also watch a video from narasi.tv about how the disease works, so he’ll understand why it’s important to stay at home.” (kes)

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