The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has interrupted all the normal standards of living starting from personal to public domain. Everyone became more dependent on technology and virtual modes of living gained a significant position. In simple words, it can be said that the virtual world became more real. Just as most of the in-office jobs of employees were replaced by work from home options, the students of all ages became dependent on online classes conducted by schools. But another situation that came to exist during the pandemic era is the homeschooling of children by parents. This deserves special attention because many parents think that online learning is not adequate for their children and this is the reason the children especially the little ones require homeschooling. Accessing online classes from home are also a part of homeschooling but this is different from the practical lessons given by parents or a private tutor at home.
Why homeschooling by parents is important?
The Kindergarten and nursery going kids always need special care in the learning as well as socialization process because it is the base of learning. At present lessons of learning at schools are going virtual but it is not equivalent to a full-fledged learning. Before the pandemic, normal school schedule would continue for hours from Monday to Friday and sometimes even Saturday (for some schools). But now due to the pandemic situation, schools have started virtual classes but are facing problems while following a fixed schedule. Therefore, such a situation emphasizes the importance of homeschooling by parents so that the children do not face any deficit in learning. Practical learning in this situation is possible only through homeschooling by parents because due to lockdown and quarantine norms no private tutor can even come home to teach. There are a few steps which should be considered by the guardians while homeschooling their children.
Discovering the areas of interest of children
Education can be more fun when it is not only based on textbooks but becomes a combination of books and extracurricular activities. Homeschooling gives the opportunity to understand the specific interests of the children and help them continue with those in the future. Parents can explore the interests of their children in creativity which can also help them concentrate in the online learning process in a much better way. Children can be involved in arts, cultural forums, sports, studies, etc which will contribute towards their all round development. Despite challenges of learning homeschooling is nurturing the process of an overall personality development which would not had been possible in a fruitful way living within the regular schedules of the pre-pandemic times.
Maintaining discipline at home
Homeschooling is effective in a number of ways but it cannot devalue the importance of learning at classrooms. Classrooms have taught children the basic manners along with routine based teaching. It is essential to maintain the same discipline at home while learning lessons because it is necessary for the organizational development of children. Just like schools parents can create a routine at home stating the playtime, learning sessions, extracurricular activities etc for their children besides maintaining the time of online classes conducted by schools.
The Socialization Process
Both the primary and secondary processes of socialization of children should be given importance at this stage. While the former is done at home, the later phase takes place outside home and the place is mainly school. The primary ones involve attitudes, values, norms followed by children learnt within the family. Secondary socialization implies the appropriate behavior done according to the demands of a particular situation. This occurs when the children go to school meet their peers, teachers and all others outside home. They learn the difference between home and the outside world through interactions. But right now as going out is not possible parents should help their children maintain the virtual connections as this is the only way to make them understand the importance of secondary socialization. Interactive sessions with teachers, friends and all other acquaintances of children should be maintained well through the virtual process because it is the only way of building a community now.
Accessing educational websites and reading apps
Apart from textbooks, educational websites and ebooks should be used for homeschooling. There are many websites which are currently offering learning sessions because of shutdown of schools and educational institutions in the pandemic situation. Outschool, Scholastic learn-at-home, Calvert Homeschool, Khan Academy are some of the websites which are contributing towards educating children at present. While some of them are offering free classes, textbooks, audiobooks, links etc for learning some are charging affordable rates. Some of them also have free trial months. There are other apps as well as online libraries like Epic!, Rivet, Twinkl, VOOKS which are offering reading materials and various informative sources. Accessing all of these sources will provide an inclusive learning atmosphere to the children at home. Besides, many teachers, educational experts, institutions and organizations in social media are also offering free classes, seminars, workshops etc for the children. Homeschooling has indeed changed the forms of learning for children. Like everything this process too has both positive and negative sides. While homeschooling or learning at home can be interesting for some students, there are also others who cannot even access online education. Basically online education is a privilege which involves an internet connection, smartphones, laptops, tablets etc which are not affordable for the underprivileged or less privileged. Many schools are also facing difficulties in arranging online classes. Education is not a privilege or elite thing but rather it is a basic right that should be available to all. Everyone has the right to learn and dream for a bright future irrespective of class differences. Pandemic situation should not stop any children from learning and this is why online education has become an alternative process. But for an inclusive educational pattern and overall learning, the idea of imparting education should be reconsidered so that everyone can learn despite shutdown of schools or go through homeschooling.