Investment Manager at 500 TukTuks
The Covid-19 outbreak has sent many schools into closure. Many parents now find themselves tasked with educating their children at home rather than sending them off to school as they are accustomed to. This can be a daunting task especially in light of the Covid outbreak that parents find themselves with 2 more very important tasks on their hands; keeping the family safe and homeschooling their children. There are many useful tools and tips available to help so that parents can take to make homeschooling productive and more enjoyable for both everyone.
First and foremost, being organised by having set plans and schedules is very important. This is so that everybody knows whats going on and kids can work off of schedules as they are used to in schools. This helps to minimise disruptions and keep things structured. In the schedule, remember that it is not only about studying. Recess or outdoor time can be equally important to get the kids out there to explore which is one of the best ways to learn. Moreover, also plan for downtime. Kids like us adults needs time to ‘disconnect’ which allows them to do some independent exploration, another key area for child development.
To help manage schedule and time, parents may use tools such as Clockify, which is a free to use time tracker and timesheet app. This allows parents to track daily schedules, get insights into exact timing of each assignment, locate tasks that takes up most the time to optimize it.
For content, online resources such as BrainPOP can help turn any room into a classroom with short animated clips with quizzes and related materials for K-12 students covering all core subjects such as science, social studies, English, math, engineering, etc.
Meanwhile, for those parents short on time, resources such as Outschool.com can be very handy. Outschool offers over 10,000 small live-classes for students aged 3-18, prices starts at $5 per class.
For language learning, apps such as Dualingo is one of the more effective ways to develop language skills. With its freemium model, users can learn over 30+ languages with bite-sized lessons based on science. Whereas for English specifically, online learning platforms like Voxy (https://voxy.co.th/th/) can be a great solution with bite-sized online lessons as well as live classes.
To keep things interesting, parents can leverage the help of educational youtube channels such as Crash Course Kids and National Geographic Kids which are great resources for kids to browse and learn according to their interests. One benefit of these channels is that it helps children to practice the habit of self-learning. For example, after watching a video on Food Chains, they’ll be suggested with another video related to Food Chains such as Food Webs. Hopefully, if the kids are curious enough they’ll keep on building knowledge in their area of interest.
Apart from youtube videos, Amazon, has cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages (this will last for as long as schools are closed). This allows kids to instantly stream a great collection of stories from a large library. (https://stories.audible.com/start-listen?fbclid=IwAR2yUkwEJ1nh0zZInNf7UeZbd4N393V5TixO5lE_Sd7r8sWystmz_9OgvFY)
As we mentioned before, activities outside of study are just as important. Tools such as Chorepad, a productivity app are specifically made for families with young kids. Chorepad helps younger kids complete their to-do list via a kid-friendly UX with gamification and rewards (which can be set by parents). All in all, it can be a fantastic tool in helping organize family chores.
Lastly, as a large number of parents will be going through a similar situation, don’t forget to tap into your community to connect and collaborate with other homeschooling parents as well as your children’s school teachers. Teachers can be a great resource as they are the experts in this area. Inskru is a community where teachers from all over the country share the best practices, assignments and activities with each other so that you can replicate what they do.
We hope that some of these tools can be useful in helping you homeschool your children during these challenging times.