We spent the greater part of 2020 in complete or partial lockdown, and it is fairly obvious by now that the pandemic has caused significant changes in the way we teach and learn.
For most schools, the lockdown and COVID protocols meant that students were sent back to their homes, and remote or online learning commenced. Students and educators alike have struggled with adapting to this new method of learning, with changes to lesson plans and teaching styles.
Parents are not left out of the struggle. Most parents have to adjust to the new style of teaching, helping their kids with assignments and school work. Parents now have to balance their own work and career with their children and make enough time to supervise them.
Let’s look at some of the things you can do to make online learning easier, and also some reading tips to make reading from home a more fulfilling experience.
Make them love reading early
Introduce your children/students to reading at the earliest age. Once the kids learn to attribute meaning to different letters and words, the next step is to develop their comprehension and fluency. Without proper fluency and comprehension, your kids will not be able to express and recognize words properly or understand the text.
One of the best things you can do to promote reading comprehensively is independent reading.
Offer them books
Before your kids can even read, be proactive and make a wide variety of books available to them. In school, educators can provide and engage children with books and reading materials appropriate for their level.
Families can also take a cue from the school, and acquire simple reading comprehension printables to print out at home. If the school offers to borrow or pick-up books, parents can also take advantage of this offer.
Use digital tools
Now, reading books does not only mean holding one in the hand, and flipping through the pages. While some of the older generations have a fondness for physical books, there are online tools and materials that will help children in learning how to read.
- Apps that can open eBooks
- Microsoft’s Immersive Reader tool
- Learning apps, online reading worksheets, and games
- Document cameras teachers can use to show kids a book during remote learning.
Following some of these steps will make your child more interested in learning. Now, you need to know some of the things you can do during online learning that will build your child’s literacy.
Keep the lessons short
Children already have a short attention span, and you should know that staring at a screen for long hours at a time will not aid their learning. Adults already have a hard time focusing during long zoom calls, so it is not too difficult to see how children will lose concentration within the first half-hour.
While you wouldn’t want to take anything away from what your kids are supposed to learn, it is necessary that you keep the lessons as short and concise as possible.
Stick to some routines
Much like how instructors or teachers would begin the school day with some fun activities, with the children gathered round; begin each online learning day with digital reading. Choose a book that your students will be excited to read.
One of the pros of virtual learning is the flexibility it offers. Parents can move their children’s work table to the outdoors for a change of scenery, and teachers can give students some tasks to complete outside.
There is no limitation to how you can flex your creativity muscles. Assign your students to take a walk through the park and write about something in nature, or give them settings where they can read an assigned book; for example, under a tree, in the garden, or on a picnic blanket.
There is little doubt that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have created a large disruption in everyone’s lives. However, students, teachers, and prints can still get the best out of learning with the opportunities that remote learning offers.