Teaching my children at home during this COVID-19 pandemic lockdown comes with its challenges. Children have this stubborn way of seeking to be independent. Attempt to teach some of them and they go:
‘Mummy don’t teach me!’
‘Leave me alone mummy!’
‘I can do it by myself!’
‘I don’t want to write, I want to draw and colour!’
I get the above quotes more from my 3 years old child.
It is no gainsaying that the lockdown has adversely affected academics of pupils and students.
However, some schools and other educational organizations have also risen to occasion by doing what they can within their means to mitigate these negative effects. Some schools have launched online instruction programs, which they are implementing with help of parents in order to keep the pupils and students busy academically in these trying times. Necessity is truly the mother of inventions.
One of the things that this COVID-19 pandemic has done for the educational sector, especially the preschool, primary and the secondary/college levels is that it has made parents and guardians to value and appreciate the work of teachers more.
I am privileged to have the double role of being both a teacher and a parent.
In fact, as a parent, I give it up for the teachers that teach these preschool pupils.
These teachers deserve my special salute!
Teaching my youngest child, who is three years plus has been my greatest challenge.
In the course of teaching her, I have had to deal with the following challenges:
- Demand for independence and self-reliance: Several times, when I give my children some academic tasks to perform and I offer to guide my youngest child, she usually resists my help and insists on doing the task by herself. I on the other hand will look for creative ways to entice her and make me coach her through the task to avoid her doing ‘rubbish’ (in the words of her older siblings Lol…).
- Low attention span: My greatest challenge has been to get her to pay attention and concentrate on a task long enough to master what I want to teach her. The attention span of a child is age related. Research has shown that the average attention span of a five year old is about 12 to 15 minutes. The younger the child, the lower the attention span. To scale through this challenge, I try to add some interesting distractions in between the academic task, promise some interesting rewards like watching cartoons when task is successfully completed and also allow her to write and draw her ‘rubbish’ in between the tasks.
- High level imitation attitude: Children are the best copycats you can think of. They copy a lot from others, especially from their older siblings or other adults present and this can frustrate academic coaching and mastery of tasks. For me, I try to let my preschool child understand that I have already coached her older siblings and that is why they can do their work independently. I try to talk to her to let me coach her just a little so that she too can do her work independently like the rest. Is the explanation working? Work in progress. Lol…