Wednesday May 20th, 2020
A global pandemic is not something you expect on an ordinary day. Governments of affected countries have advised their citizens to practice physical distancing and self-quarantine.Tzu Chi School has been shifting classes to home-based learning for eight weeks. For children learning at home, it is common for them to be hit by boredom or frustration of having to do the same activities everyday without leaving the house.
Tzu Chi School teachers are very much aware of this and have been putting their effort to teach students mindfully with interactive class sessions, and minimize homework to lessen students’ screen time in front of the computer or laptop.
In addition to that, here are a few suggestions to maintain your child’s motivation and focus at home.
Practice Physical (not Social) Distancing
The World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasised on the new term ‘physical distancing’ for the community to maintain physical distance and continue to nurture social relationships. Let children to virtually meet and talk with their friends, family, and people who matter to them using video calls or conferences and other supportive technology.
Start a blog or a diary
For Winnie, just like other kids, adapting into home-based learning was not easy. “It feels like we keep on writing different documents for different subjects. I am glad that teachers listened to us so the learning experience is now a lot better with more activities,”
Ms Meilya Lusianti, Tzu Chi Primary School Counselor said that, “Dealing with a new situation is an added stressor, and while most adults might already have a strategy to manage their stress, children are still figuring their way out of stressful situations.” For children, activities that enable children to express themselves in writing or scribbles that contain a description of their feelings, especially negative emotions, will help release the tension in them.
A Grade 8 student, Winnie Winartan, felt too old when she was first asked to write a diary during the home-based learning for her English class. “At first, I made fun of the idea. But then I wrote and wrote and it ended up helping me a lot. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”
Start the Day with Gratitude
Regardless of one’s belief or religion, appreciating the day that has been given to us is always a great way to start the day. This will hopefully carry a positive attitude throughout the day for both children learning at home and supporting parents. For instance, one of the topics for the diary project was finding something to be grateful about. Winnie Winartan, realises the importance of staying humble and being grateful no matter what. “If we look outside, there are people who live in worse condition than we are so it seems unfair for me to complain. Also, we don’t really realise what we’re grateful for until it’s taken away from us when we least expect it. Practicing gratitude helps me appreciate things even more.”
Last, but not least. Tzu Chi School has advised all teachers to keep an eye on their students health and well-being at home, and shall you find your child is struggling or could use any additional support, please don’t hesitate to contact their homerooms to be referred to the principals or school counselors.