Tips to Help Parents Survive Home-Based Learning

There’s less than 2 weeks to go to the end of the school term, and home-based learning (HBL) is back. How are you holding up with your kids?

For parents, while this isn’t our first rodeo anymore, getting our kids to commit to HBL is still as difficult as last year! Some kids are still having trouble sitting still through their online classes, and supervising them is nigh impossible on top of having to manage our own work tasks.

To help ease the stress of HBL, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has put together some suggested tips for parents in their online Parent Kit, to address their kids’ common complaints during this period. We’ve outlined some of the following below:

1. My children frequently interrupt me

This is a common one, especially with younger kids who are not yet used to HBL. For this, you can:

  1. Explain to them the importance of letting you focus during work hours, and make it clear when they can or cannot interrupt you.
  2. Set up a physical object or visual cue that signifies to them when they cannot disturb you during work.
  3. Allow a limited number of requests at regular intervals during your work hours. This helps them to learn self-discipline and to prioritise their requests in order of importance.
  4. Emphasise independence by teaching your child to complete tasks on their own.
  5. You may need to break up your own work tasks into smaller segments so that you can check in on them frequently.

2. My children are often bored

For many children, it’s difficult to be engaged in virtual learning, especially as this is a new experience for them. For this, you can:

  1. Give your child a sense of ownership over their learning by:
    • Asking them what they would like to spend their break time on, either during or after HBL.
    • For younger children, you can allow your child to choose from a pre-determined set of activities that you are comfortable with.
    • For older children, give them the freedom to explore their own activities.
  2. Discuss over the agreed activities that they can do during a break (e.g. selected games, puzzles, books).
  3. You’ll need your breaks too! If you have time, join in with your child’s activities and spend some quality time with them.

3. My children can’t stay focused to complete their schoolwork

This is the biggest challenge for parents, even before HBL started! For this, you can:

  1. Reinforce structures and routines for your child and stick to it as best as you can. Ensure that your child has the right balance of work, play, rest and sleep.
  2. You may also need to incentivise them with their favourite activities or additional break times to give them achievable milestones to work towards.
  3. If they are stuck on their schoolwork, get your child to note down the parts that they need help with, while they continue with other tasks. Guide them to ask the teacher their questions thereafter.
  4. Be kind to yourself! Give yourself a couple of incentives to stay on track with your own timetable and provide yourself time for ample rest.

4. My children are spending too much time looking at the screen

It’s never easy to manage our child’s screen time, especially when they are easily distracted by colourful YouTube videos. For this, you can:

  1. Set fixed times for using devices, and follow through with them.
  2. Promote offline activities, or use the screen time to bond with them (e.g. exercising together as a family, or learning new recipes).
  3. Alternatively, create meaningful screen time activities instead, such as helping your children to pick up new hobbies, skills or knowledge through educational content. You can also check out our blog post here for more suggestions on how to get your children engaged in learning Science!
  4. Teach your child cyber literacy during this period to keep them safe, such as getting them to ignore suspicious links or files sent by strangers or in pop-up boxes. Get them to check with you when they’re in doubt.
  5. You may need to be a good role model for your kids by limiting screen time for yourself too – such as putting away your work laptop or switching o­ff the computer when you are done with work for the day.

Although HBL comes as a relief to many parents after the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, it’s still a stressful period for us all. As parents, we must do our best to try and stay calm and collected as much as possible for our children. We may be supermoms and superdads, but we’re still human after all and we need to give ourselves much needed breaks too!

If you’re still looking for additional assessments for your child during this period and for the June holidays, you can check out our online catalogue for helpful self-study and guide books for all ages, from pre-school to junior college. In addition, we cover a wide range of subjects from English and Mathematics, to Geography and Science subjects like Chemistry. You can also check out our educational magazines and flashcards for alternative ways of making learning fun for your child during this period too.

Starting from now till the end of May, we’re also offering FREE DELIVERY on books that you order from our online store! Use the promo code “FREEDELIVERY” (without the quotation marks). Hurry while the offer lasts!*

*Offer lasts until 31 May 2021, 2359 GMT+8.