In times like these, some of you might be having trouble in getting your kids to study during this COVID-19 lockdown. Whether children or teenagers, time off school is regarded as free time and studying is probably the last thing on their minds.
This is especially true during times of crisis. Your children are probably even more distracted and stressed by the feeling of impending danger and the worrisome information being circulated on the news and social media.
There’s no magical formula but there are some helpful methods and measures you can use to encourage them in staying up-to-date with their schoolwork.
- Setting Limits on Media Consumption
Being exposed to a huge amount of worrying information daily can be exhausting to young minds. The TV is always on, broadcasting the latest news of rising death tolls and illness. Posts are being circulated on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms. We’re even guilty of promoting that ourselves – how many times do we use the word “Corona” per day?
Try to avoid exposing your kids to media stories that talk about how fast the disease is spreading or how many people are getting sick, as this might cause an increase in anxiety levels – which also leads to a decrease in productivity and concentration.
- Setting Up A Scheduled Routine
One of the reasons why studying is currently so far down on the list of things that children and teenagers think about is the lack of a “study-prone atmosphere”. Schools have the benefit of putting in place a comfortable schedule: different subjects punctuated with some downtime for food and play. Away from the school environment, your kids might find it hard to transpose that to the home-life.
For the younger ones, set up a weekly study schedule. Invite your kids to write it down with you and let them voice out their own suggestions of what to study in the morning, the afternoon, etc. – as well as what they choose to do during downtime. Get them excited for learning and reward them for sticking to the schedule at the end of the day by maybe watching a movie together as a family, playing a board game or trying out a cookie recipe together – anything that you know they’d enjoy. Explain to them that you have your own schedule as well, for things to do around the house or work to finish (if you’re working remotely) and try and coincide both your downtimes together.
As for students from the upper grades, this could be a great opportunity for them to learn some time management skills – as they’d need them especially in university. Explain to your teenagers that even though they have more free time, this might give them the false impression that they can get everything done on time. Empower them to take control of their own schedule and to prioritize their work; help them set a study-routine together and then give them more control over it as days go by. Be sure to include some downtime as well.
A routine needs time and energy to stick and would probably not be perfect the first time around. But if insisted upon, and repeated, with trial, error and alterations, it can be adjusted to fit your needs and the needs of your children. There is no size fits all – find out what works for your child and what would motivate him or her – and then turn that schedule into an agreement.
If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact our school counselor Lana Kalawoun: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and healthy,