How to prepare our children for one more year of online education

Online Education
Student attending online class. Photo: Rido/Shutterstock

In the event of the rising Covid cases in India, some of the primary Education boards like CBSE and ICSE have decided to postpone the examinations indefinitely. As for now, CBSE has cancelled the 10th board exams and the 12th final examinations have been adjourned. Many important National level Entrance examination also got reshuffled. 

If the online mode of education continues, it will pose a huge challenge for the students in higher classes. It will surely affect their quality of learning as well as other nitty-gritty.

There is also less clarity for the 12th-grade students aiming to get admission in Universities and colleges in India and abroad. 

Various international studies have revealed how this pandemic time has adversely affected the mental health of students leading to loneliness, anxiety, depression, and separation anxiety. The absence of social interaction is cited as the main reason behind such issues. 

Though they have the backup of a secure and happy family at home, it goes without saying that children need social interaction for their overall personality development. Under these circumstances, the onus of children’s personality development and education falls on the parents. With some planning here are some of the ways in which parents can contribute. 

Encouragement and inspiration 

Since parents get to spend a lot of time with children (even that’s a matter of contention since the work-balance boundaries are blurred when it comes to the work-from-home format), they should ideally involve themselves in having a lot of conversations with children about their future as well as indulge in some fun and games. Introduce motivational books, biographies of great leaders, narrate them stories about inspiring leaders, about people who succeeded against all odds. Also, make sure you pick books and topics that interest them. 

Very often a strict ban on video games, mobiles and other forms of visual communication can adversely affect them or even your equation with them. So the trick is to find a middle line. Dining table conversations, conversations around news or latest trends, family board games and even sharing some of your childhood memories with them are a few ways to create a bond with children. 

For instance, when you are celebrating a festival, regale them with some history behind it, or while bursting crackers, how about explaining its origin or how certain varieties of crackers are made? Or an after-movie discussion. Even cooking a meal with children can help in cementing a bond as well as make them understand the importance of sharing. Perhaps this is the right time to invest in some gender equality talks with them. Involve both your son and daughter in household chores (from laying the plates on the table, cleaning rooms to making chapatis). 

Emotional support is the need of the hour

There are two sections of students in our society, those who are unable to afford the online educational facilities and those who are bored of being stuck in front of the computer screens. Both are under pressure. Parents should also make it a point to address their issues. The first section of students should work towards creating better communication between their classmates as well as teachers and also make use of the regional methods of education. 

For those who are finding the online classes redundant, they can keep themselves occupied in a few hobbies like Home farming, ornamental fish farming, pet animals, crafts, cooking, and light exercises to bring some cheer. 

Considering in the coming years constructed intelligence, Robotics will be the two prime requirements to survive in this competitive world, it’s as important that they grow up with emotional intelligence and individuality.

Robots are faster than humans and don’t make errors at work and therefore there are more chances of their presence in the form of computers and other gadgets at work. Therefore humans might need to look out for a job that requires their creativity and emotional intelligence. Parents should be aware of the various possibilities in the career front for their children and also show an open mind to think beyond the usual career choices. 

Habits are important 

Intelligence, talent, attitude, and habits form the foundation of a person’s growth. And out of this most of the habits are formed from home and school. Experts suggest that COVID-19 has mostly affected the daily functioning and habits of children. 

Before the pandemic, the children had a daily routine going for them. But pandemic threw all that out of the window. There is a difference in social behaviour, learning methods, and interaction with classmates and teachers.

Life is like a self-designed carpet. Each day should pass doing something meaningful or fruitful or it can be a pleasant thought. Students should be able to make their future plans right from high school. They should think beyond achieving academic brilliance. Here are some tips to help such students.

• Plan your daily routine like you would plan when you were attending school.

• Make a To-do list that includes study as well as play hours. Including time to bond with your friends and family and at the end of the day make sure to cross-check the list.

• Develop healthy food habits and since you are sitting at home, there are chances that you might overeat. That’s something that needs to be taken care of. 

• Encourage them to cultivate a tiny vegetable garden on your balcony and also involve them in cooking. This will help in adaptability as well as lessen feelings of alienation. 

• It’s especially important to follow a strict sleep pattern. When you are always at home, children tend to take the opportunity to stretch their sleeping hours and that can affect their health. They require 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Screen time restriction can help in getting better sleep. Avoiding too much caffeine in the diet will also help.

• Encourage them to write personal diaries, not only is that an outlet to vent their innermost feelings but it’s also a great way to encourage creativity in children. But it's better to discourage the children from expressing their feelings online or through Facebook statutes. It not only affects their concentration they might develop anxiety issues later on. On the other hand diary, writing will only help in creating Self-awareness and concentration. These are just a few ways that will help the parents and children to grow together during this trying pandemic period. And if it all becomes too hard to bear one should definitely take professional help. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.