Uganda has over 15 million students in different institutions of learning according to the Ministry of Education and Sports. As a way of controlling the spread of COVID-19, only 10 percent of these learners who are mainly finalist students will be reporting back to school starting October 15th 2020 leaving the majority at home.
The Minister for Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance Honourable Judith Nabakooba in a recent media address urged continuing students to take homeschooling seriously as it could determine their promotion to the next class.
Now more than ever before, parents are going to find themselves having to go beyond periodically helping their children with homework and other such class assignments to ultimately managing their children’s education from home.
Despite its novelty in many homes in Uganda, homeschooling has many benefits; parents get to spend more time with their children, track their scholastic progress, control the child’s pace of learning and monitor their children’s diets.
However, if not well structured, homeschooling can be challenging for both parents and students especially when parents have more than one child and have to juggle homeschooling with work and house chores. In this article, we share 6 tips on how to effectively organize the homeschooling experience and ensure that children are on track with the curriculum.
- Create a designated homeschooling space
Living and learning under one roof can be stressful if not well organized. In order to avoid confusion and having to always clear up spaces for study which can waste a lot of time, keep your children’s study materials in one designated specific learning space.
- Design and follow a specific homeschooling schedule
Make a specific homeschooling schedule for your child or children if you have more than one. The schedule should allot time for different subjects as well as the duration of study as well as study breaks for snacks and physical exercise so that students are not constantly bombarded with books. Try as much as possible to work the homeschooling schedule around your other responsibilities such as house work and career. As well, engage children while developing the schedule and show them the allotted times for breaks, screen time and other activities such that they are also involved with the whole process.
- Work with your children’s teacher or school to map out the curriculum
Mapping out the curriculum will help you track the progress of your child therefore do not be afraid to call up your child’s teacher or school official for ideas on how best to follow the curriculum from home in order to make the learning process simpler.
- Emphasize good nutrition for your homeschooled child
Learning is an intense activity that requires good nutrition for a child to concentrate better. Try as much as possible to include nutritious foods into your child’s diet in order to ensure that they are focused and happy learners. Fresh Dairy products such as flavoured yoghurt, Brookside fruit yoghurt, flavoured milk, long life UHT milk, TCA (Triangular) long life milk are appropriate choices because they are not only handy and ready-to-drink but are also nutrient rich with energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fat and calcium among others.
- Look for learning opportunities beyond text books
Homeschooling is a great experience to bond with your child and to teach them life skills that can only be learnt outside class. These can include baking, cooking and money management among others therefore use this opportunity to teach your child these skills that they will need when they are in and out of school.
- Collaborate with other homeschoolers
Help, supervise and encourage your child connect with his or her classmates online in order to facilitate peer interaction. As well, as a parent collaborate with other homeschooling parents in order to get resources that can enrich the homeschooling experience for you and your child.