We have experienced a massive shift to on-line learning in education over the past year. As well as disruption in education across all age groups, there has been an increase in mental illnesses ranging from anxiety, stress to more serious conditions. This has been a major challenge both to teachers, carers and parents, having to deal with juggling roles by keeping children engaged in study, on track as well as dealing with other issues such as mental health.
Schools and colleges moved lessons online and teachers had to adapt their teaching strategies and styles by learning new technology and numerous educational platforms, developing and creating resources whilst developing a new mode of learning, this has created a less than satisfactory climate for learning. As educators we encounter many parents and students who are dissatisfied with the standard and quality of education being delivered in schools. Furthermore a recent study found that teaching online has created feelings of isolation among students of all age groups and restricted their ability to be motivated and learn (Alawamleh et al., 2020).
Teachers and parents can help in many ways and we can all ensure that children are maximizing this time for their education:
- Health and well-being – maintain balance through integrating exercise daily into your routine, take a walk together.
- Mindfulness – spend 10-15 minutes engaging in relaxation, stretching and breathing exercises.
- Take up a creative hobby, painting, drawing, music, photography, learn a fun language (www.futurelearn.com) have many free courses for Secondary/University students, where students can study a new topic of interest at your own pace)
- Integrate learning into their daily routine – watch a documentary together (‘A Perfect Planet’ by David Attenborough), Excellent for Biology students.
- Support your child by engaging positively in ICT for learning whilst limiting the time spent on social media.
- Take the ‘learning outdoors’, there are many opportunities to engage in science, explore your local area, find out the names of different species of plants and wildlife.
- Use part of the holidays to catch up on missed lessons.