Play & Learn

6 Roles for Parents During Online Learning

ByFrances ChavezJanuary 6, 2022
mom guiding kid in online learning
“The new normal” has been an uncertain aspect of our day-to-day lives that we’ve had to navigate through slowly. And while we’ve adjusted to our new routines, we are returning to a very big constant in our lives: school!
Our children’s safety is top priority, but education shouldn’t take a backseat because of this pandemic. With this online school year approaching, many parents at home are searching for ways to fill in the gaps of a virtual learning ground—but what we mustn’t forget is that the learning doesn’t stop at school. Outside of playing tutor, we’ll have to wear many hats to enrich our kids’ experience and provide all their physical, mental, and creative needs outside of online school. Get to know the different roles we can take on to ensure this!
1. Be their playmate.
It’s true that the entire summer might have been spent playing, but this shouldn’t stop during schooling. Playtime is an effective learning tool that requires imagination, develops independence, and hones creativity.
Another benefit? Kids aren’t immune to stress. Going back to studies in an all-new set-up at home, especially without being with their friends and teachers, is expected to be difficult for them. To build a harmonious environment that is conducive for learning, we need to strike a balance with a daily dose of fun. It goes without saying that they’ll enjoy this quality time with their mamas too! 
2. Be their awesome storyteller.
Story time is a big part of childhood. It’s a more relaxed activity where our kids let their minds explore as we read the best children’s books to them before bedtime. But storytelling isn’t constricted to books and bedtime–– it’s also invoked in simple conversations and stories that we can share about our own lives and adventures, that might be as exciting to them as any storybook!
We sometimes overlook our own experiences and how they can connect to our children’s knowledge of the world; simple travel stories could teach them about culture, their lolos and lolas can also recount their upbringing and how it was affected by historical turning points in our country. Not only does this give them a different perspective, but it could also serve as an invitation for them to tell us about their own stories, whether real or imagined.
3. Be their partner-in-crime.
With online classes and homework added to being in quarantine i.e. at home all the time, our kids might find their activities a little rigid. It’s good to shake things up, and what better way to do that than be the instigator! Co-conspire with your kid from time to time: do messy experiments, play in the rain, have a pool party, or even drop tutor session for once and have a movie night! There are many ways to break the rules, with it fun and safe with you being there. This could also act as a great motivator and positive reinforcement during study hours!
4. Be their coach.
A huge gap to fill from ordinary schooling is Physical Education! And since most of us don’t have basketball courts and soccer fields in our backyard, we’ll have to get a little creative with our home P.E. From our own experience trying to stay active, the best motivator is a workout buddy. Encourage physical activity by dancing, creating an obstacle course, or even trying something new like doing fitness classes together! Bonus: If your kid has already shown interest in a sport, you can help them hone those skills with simple drills at home.
5. Act as their project manager.
Especially during online classes, our kids’ attention spans should be taken into consideration. Tasks or projects might be a bit more difficult to process through a screen, and thus do. We can act as their project manager: breakdown their projects step by step, keep them on track while showing support, and let them learn from you and acquire a more procedural way of thinking.
6. Be their resource specialist.
Even in adulthood, we have those loved ones who recommend books, movies, and shows that they know we’ll love. As parents, we also have our kids’ best interests at heart enough to feed their curiosity.
If they have favorite subjects, then look for fun additional resources or activities they can do to broaden their knowledge on that. Is your child’s favorite subject Science? Do cool experiments at home! Does your child show interest in reading? Expand their horizons with graphic novels or Greek mythology! Do they gravitate towards history? Schedule a movie marathon with period films! Introduce interdisciplinary learning; show them how school subjects connect to the real world around us. The list could go on and on, and our children will never stop learning.
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