Home Schooling

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august 2020


Kids deserve the right to think that they can change the world. LOIS LOWRY

WHAT’S INSIDE A safer alternative to education during Covid-19

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A parent’s perspective ... Patience, honesty and discipline are key Home schooling – what the law says

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Page 7 How to register and what you should take note of Top 5 ways Student360 has got your education covered Page 8 Page 9 How Student360 works How to beat wi-fi and data blues Page 10 Page 11 Guidelines for home schooling – How to schedule the learning day Home schooling – The pros and cons and what to know Page 12 Page 13 Home schooling essentials from Loot.co.za – Get the basics Healthy v unhealthy snack choices Page 14 Page 15 6 Tips for children learning in isolation How to home school a child whose interest lies in sports Page 16 Page 17 6 tips on choosing the right subjects 5 tips to consider when writing an essay Page 18 Page 19 Tips for parents teaching their kids at home

editor’s note


he option of home schooling is on everyone’s mind as the academic year edges relentlessly closer to yearend exams and the coronavirus pandemic intensifies. This first edition of Student360’s digital magazines, Home Schooling, addresses the questions many parents are wrestling with amid another fourweek suspension of schooling for most grades. It is packed with valuable information on the rewards and challenges of home schooling, the legal requirements, how to register your child to write yearend exams if you opt to educate them at home, and important hints and tips. This magazine is further backed up by our flagship education website Student360, where parents and learners will find a wealth of revision material as well as the latest Department of Basic Education study guides and learner books in an exceptionally user-friendly format for matrics and grades 1-11. The site also features the latest education news as well as hints, tips and advice on a variety of topics from academics and learning strategies to health and sport fitness under lockdown.

Tony Oosthuizen Editor of Student360

A safer alternative to

education during Covid-19


year ago, nobody could have predicted Covid-19 and the “new normal” that’s taking over the world. As a parent, the biggest concerns are the safety of your child and their education. Home schooling, also known as home education, is the education of school-going children at home or somewhere other than a public or independent school. It is usually conducted by a parent/s and is not the same as online learning. The difference between home schooling and online learning is that with home schooling, the parents act as full-time teachers, while with online education – also known as virtual learning – online teachers manage the learner’s studies from afar within a structured school curriculum. There are many benefits to home schooling your children, but the biggest by far is one-on-one attention. As a parent, you can structure your lessons and routines around your family’s schedules and needs, and adjust the

pace of your lessons. If you want to go the home schooling route and educate your children at home during the pandemic, you must register your child with the Department of Education if they fall within Grades 1 to 9. Registration is free. The registration is necessary because, by law, every South African child is entitled to an education up to Grade 9 and it is compulsory that they receive it. After Grade 9, your child no longer needs to be registered as home schooled, however, he/ she may still want to study towards a Matric and/or university entrance. If you are unsure of how home schooling works or require additional information on how this affects your child, speak to other home schooling families. You can also join Facebook support groups such as Home Schooling in South Africa . With more than 20 000 members, this supportive Facebook group helps anyone who is currently home schooling or interested in home schooling. And it is a safe, private group that only allows parents with children.

a parent’s perspective Patience, honesty and discipline are key


atience, honesty and discipline are three key ingredients parents need to put in the mix if they decide to home school their children. That’s the advice of Durban parents Amina and Zoubair Ayoob, who had enrolled their children for three years of home schooling. Apart from teachers not having the resources or time to give learners individual attention, the most important factor that prompted the couple to take this decision was the violence and drugs at schools. “We felt that they would be safer at home and away from peer pressure to try dangerous intoxicants,” said Amina. The children were registered with Alpha Education SA, which is recognised by the Department of Education. Choosing a DBE-recognised home schooling provider means that if parents decide to put their children back into mainstream schooling again, the transition should be smooth, provided they’ve achieved the necessary results, since the syllabus is identical. “Home schooling is very structured and a proper timetable is drawn up and followed,” said Amina. She gives full credit to all the teachers at Alpha Education SA because a lot of paperwork is undertaken for every assignment, project, test and exam – and this requires dedication. Home schooling proved to have many benefits for the Ayoob siblings, including receiving more individual teaching time as well as being more relaxed and focused. In this way, more time could be dedicated to subjects where more attention was needed. The Ayoob siblings are now back in mainstream school for two main reasons: “Firstly, they were limited in the courses that they could choose to study for grade 10 to grade 12. “Secondly, as they progressed in their grades, the subject matter became more complicated for me to teach as I couldn’t understand it well enough and I didn’t want them disadvantaged by this,” said Amina. Amina’s advice to parents who are considering home schooling is to take into account the need to balance their day with the needs of the children, while maintaining discipline and being patient in the learning process. Her final words to parents going the home school route: “Be patient with your children, it will be a new experience and one that you will want to remember fondly, as I do.”

Home schooling

what the law says H

to submit the curriculum that they plan to follow to the relevant department of education. However, approval of the planned curriculum by the education department is not a requirement present in the Constitution or the Schools Act. Furthermore, a judgment in the Pretoria High Court also confirmed this. On March 25, 2012, Judge Cynthia Pretorius ruled that the state curriculum is not binding on independent schools or on parents who educate their children at home. Reports frequently mention that parents and guardians must submit their highest qualification when registering their children for homeschooling. However, neither the Constitution nor the South African Schools Act state that the right to choose home education is only relevant to parents with certain levels of education. Therefore, there is no legal basis for requiring parents to submit their qualifications. Research has also shown that the parents’ qualifications have little to no influence on the success of home education. * Sources: Department of Basic Education, SA Homeschoolers

ome schooling in South Africa was legalised by the South African Schools Act No. 84 of 1996 (S51). According to this act, each province has the authority to set its own standards. According to article 29(1) of the Constitution, everybody in South Africa has the right to basic education, including children. Everybody also has the right to decide where they want to receive this education and what the content of this education should be. The South African Schools Act requires parents to register their children for education at home, should they decide against enrolling them at a formal government or private school. This registration must be done at the provincial department of education. The Act makes it clear that children are not entitled to make these decisions for themselves. That is why article 28(1)(b) of the Constitution states that children have the right to family or parental care, or appropriate alternative care. This means that parents and guardians must make decisions on behalf of the children in their care and what is in their best interests. This includes decisions on education and means that parents and guardians must decide what type of education a child should receive, be it school education or home schooling. When interpreting the Bill of Rights, the Constitution also requires, in article 39(1)(b), that courts must consider international law. One piece of international law that is applicable is article 26(3) of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”. This means that only parents and legal guardians have the authority to decide whether children in their care should be educated at home or at a formal school. Parents are required

Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children

How to register and what you should take note of


afety concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing disruption to the school calendar are forcing more and more parents to consider home schooling as a viable alternative. But if you have decided that you would like to home school your child or children, how do you go about registering? What you should take note of: The lessons you offer your child must fall within the scope of the following compulsory phases of education: • foundation phase (grades 1-3) • intermediate phase (grades 4-6) • senior phase (grades 7-9) What you should do: Apply electronically, using the applicable application form, to the head of your Provincial Education Department and attach the following documents: • parent/s certified ID copy • In the case of foreign nationals certified copies of passport, and study permit/work permit/asylum document is required • last copy of school report (if the child was in school before, but if the child is only starting school now you must attach an immunisation card) • the weekly timetable which includes contact time per day • breakdown of terms per year (196 days per year) • learning programme • certified copy of child’s birth certificate Timeframes It may take up to 30 days for your applications to be processed. How much does it cost? The service is free.

What records do I have to keep? After your child has been registered for Home Education you must keep the following: • record of attendance • portfolio of the child’s work • up-to-date records of the child’s progress • portfolio of the educational support given to the child • evidence of the continuous assessment of the child’s work • evidence of the assessment/examination at the end of each year • evidence at the end of grade 3, 6 and 9, that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grades These requirements from the department are set out to make sure that the child is receiving a worthy education. Source: https://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/ HomeEducation.aspx

Top 5 ways



has got your education covered

hen it comes to getting the most out of your educational experience, the Student360 website has everything you need – and it’s all just an easy click away. Here’s a countdown of the top five ways in which this exciting website has the world of education and learning covered. 5. Brandstories Student360’s Brandstories section features the latest accomplishments, news and breakthroughs from some of the country’s leading education service providers, organisations and institutions. 4. Sport The exciting SPORT tab has been especially tailored for lockdown, with skills drills, fitness workouts, strategies and hints to keep the young athlete in top form until competition resumes.

1. Learning and study material The stars of the Student360 show are without a doubt the GRADES 1-11 and MATRIC 2020 tabs, which feature all the learning, study and revision material needed to catch up and stay on track. The primary school content is provided by subject experts and education professionals, while all the high school content is official Department of Basic Education material. The MATRIC 2020 tab has been specifically designed for Grade 12 learners with the aim of boosting their study efforts and ensuring crucial study time is maximised. Here you’ll find the official DBE “Mind the Gap” study guides as well as past papers and memos that are ideal for exam revision.

‘The stars of the Student360 show are without a doubt the GRADES 1-11 and MATRIC 2020 tabs’

3. Advice The super useful ADVICE tab has a wealth of articles that cover just about everything from essential life skills and choosing the right subjects to top nutrition tips. 2. News Student360 also has the latest breaking NEWS and trending stories to keep you informed and up-to-date on everything education.

Unique user-friendliness What makes Student360 completely unique are its user and data-friendliness: all learning and study material has been broken up into sections or chapters that are easy to work through and cost-effective to download. All worksheets, past paper revision material, learner books and study guides are presented as easy-to-use flipbooks, which allows for the content to be view page by page, with the option of zooming in on any specific sections and/or illustrations. Furthermore, all Student360’s learning material can be worked with offline (to save data), printed out and even shared with a friend to form a virtual study connection.



Everything education is just a quick click away.

Learning and revision material to keep you on track.

All the latest education news and trending stories at your fingertips.

Get in touch: tell us what you think and how we can help.

Official DBE study guides and revision material, presented as easy-to-use flipbooks.

Achievements and breakthroughs from education leaders.

News and developments from the world of tertiary education.

Keeping the young athlete in top form during lockdown.

Top tips, hints and strategies for making the most of education at home.

How to beat

wifi & data blues T

he Covid-19 pandemic has hit all sectors in the country and has had a knock-on effect on the economy. Companies have embraced remote work and education has gone from textbooks and written notes to online learning and Zoom sessions. With this “new normal”, our wi-fi connectivity and data have become crucially important. Here are tips on how to make the most of your data while homeschooling and boost connectivity so data woes do not get in the way of education.

Place your router in an open space Rather than placing it at the far end of your home, the router should be in the centre of your house, if possible, so its signal can reach as far as possible. Configure it for most favourable performance Configure your network’s administrator interface and make sure you have it set for optimum performance. If you have a dual-band router, you are likely to get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band. Put key devices on the 5GHz band Most home wi-fi routers are what’s known as dual band – this means they broadcast signals on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

Connect the most important devices to the 5GHz band. Not only is the wi-fi connection faster, it’s less congested. Choose carefully as 5GHz offers poorer range, so you will need to be much closer to the router. Download and avoid streaming Most major streaming services let you download shows and movies for “offline” viewing. If this is an option on your devices, take it. This will free up your network, instead of consuming traffic and slowing down your connection for other use. Check what programs are needed It’s worth checking what programs you will need to access the work the school sends. Adobe Acrobat Reader is free and is often a requirement. Some companies offer selected online programs and services free during the Covid-19 period. You may also need to download teleconferencing facilities such as Zoom or Skype that teachers may use to deliver lessons. These are free, but make sure you are downloading from the official developers, as some other sites may expose your computer to malware. Doing a thorough check will save you data in the long run and make the process a whole lot easier.

Guidelines for home schooling

How to schedule the learning day WITHOUT any pre-planning or warning, parents and children around the world found themselves ensconced into the confines of their homes, with parents expected to still continue working while taking on the additional role of being a teacher. However, during the state of lockdown, schools did ask parents if they wished to exercise the home-schooling option if they did not feel comfortable with their child/children returning to school. This may have been due to a number of factors, including that the child could have had a medical condition such as severe asthma, which made them more vulnerable, or the fact that there were adults – parents or even grandparents – at home who suffered from a co-morbidity which significantly increased their risk of complications from a Covid-19 infection. If working from home and home schooling is new to you, here are a few tips to help make the load a little lighter: 1. Set a schedule and stick to it. 2. Prepare a to-do list the night before, including academic plans for your children for the following day. 3. Alternate your roles with your partner (if you have a partner), draw

up a schedule as to who will be responsible for what to make the load lighter. 4. Teach your children how to play on their own. 5. Try and let your children do their schoolwork, remember you are there to guide. 6. Create a meal plan the night before to make things easier the following day. 7. Lay out your children’s book/s the night before. 8. Try and keep your schedule flexible – if your children need a 5-minute break, give it to them, please remember home schooling is different from school. 9. Get up early, even if it means setting your alarm an hour before your children get up, so that you can get some of your own work out of the way. 10. Finally, forgive yourself, bear in mind that this is new territory we all are navigating, and you are doing your best under the circumstances. And if working from home is the new normal to you and you have never home-schooled your children before, give yourself time to adapt and learn. You will develop a new routine soon enough.

Home schooling

The pros and cons and what to know


e are all aware that the South African education system is facing a crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that more parents and families are looking at the option of homeschooling as a viable alternative. While a number of private schools have offered continued remote learning, government schools are pushing ahead with the resumption of regular schooling, with strict safety protocols in place. If you are one of those considering teaching your children at home, here are the pros and cons to consider. PROS One-on-one tuition: At home, your child gets the time and attention they need from their “teacher” and can progress at their own pace. Special needs children catered for: If your child has special needs, as a homeschooling parent you can tailor learning to suit your child. Flexibility, free time: At the primary school level, you can get the school day done in two to three hours. At high school level, about three to four hours should be enough for formal academic activities. This leaves a lot of time for flexibility and spontaneous outings, many of which are also learning activities that develop a child’s experience. No bullies? While keeping your child at home might protect them

from bullies, a child psychiatrist cautions that this does not solve the problem. Bullying needs to be dealt with effectively so that children are presented with a valuable opportunity to learn positive social skills. Socialisation: Many might argue that home schooling doesn’t affect a child’s socialisation whatsoever, even suggesting that it improves it as children who are homeschooled are exposed to a range of people and age groups – especially adults who they can learn from. CONS Pressure on the parents: Being your child’s parent and teacher is a big responsibility and could be stressful for parents. Multiple roles inside a family are difficult. Parents are not qualified teachers: As a parent, you might not be equipped to pick up on a learning difficulty, whereas teachers can not only identify a problem but also know how to deal with it. Our country’s laws state that while home schooling is legal in South Africa, and was incorporated into the South African Schools Act in 1996, it’s not actively encouraged by the government. Permission must first be sought from provincial authorities, and various requirements must be met, such as the provision of a weekly timetable and a learning programme.

Home schooling essentials from

Get the basics

Setting up a dedicated area in which your child can learn, study, focus and have fun is critical to the success of any home schooling endeavour. In addition to being a stimulating environment for enquiring minds, this space should be well-equipped with the tools and furniture needed to optimise learning at home. Here are a few must-haves for your home “classroom” …



Asus X543UA 15.6” Core i3 Notebook (Grey) – Intel Core i3-6006U, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home (64-Bit)


Canon Pixma MG2540S Multifunction Colour Inkjet Printer

R7 299

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Kaio Florence Study Desk

SDS 6 Drawer Desk Filing System (Anthracite Grey)


Kaio Tuscany Dining Chair

R1 556


Addis Wide 3 Drawer Storage Unit



R1 001


Nobo Elipse Aluminium Trim Melamine Drywipe Board (900x1200)


The Lighting Warehouse - Desk Lamp Otis 16772


Nobo Ecoboard Cork Notice Board (585X432)


healthy v unhealthy

snack choices P

arents who’ve gone the home schooling route need to ensure their children get proper nutrition so that they can focus, concentrate and keep their energy levels up for the duration of the day. Many kids’ diets involve a lot of convenience and take-away food and unhealthy snacks which can have a negative impact on their health. It is important to ensure that meals and snacks are healthy and nutritious, and that they include a combination of all the food groups, where possible. Reducing sugar intake is also cited as one of the most important factors in keeping energy levels constant. While kids are learning from home, you will often find that they are on the prowl for snacks and most times, they turn to freely available unhealthy snacks such as crisps, chocolates and biscuits. This is where parents can play an important role as many are guilty of stocking up on these unhealthy treats, instead of healthy and nutritious treats. Although there is little wrong with a few unhealthy indulgences here and there, we should strive to consciously make healthier snack choices for the sake of our children. After all, we want them to grow up to be

strong, resilient and healthy adults. Here are a few healthy snack substitutes: 1. Sliced and diced fresh fruit 2. Low fat yoghurt 3. Cuts of fresh veggies such as carrots and cucumbers 4. Lean cold meats such as turkey and chicken 5. Whole wheat crackers with low fat cream cheese 6. Dried fruit 7. Popcorn 8. Make your own trail mix with almonds, coconut chips, dried fruit and different types of seeds This is just a short list of healthy snack options for your children. Many more alternatives exist. Very importantly, encourage your children to drink water. Toss out the sugary drinks. You can add mint, lemon and even cucumbers and oranges to enhance the flavour of the water. Finally, be a good role model, because children eat the way you eat. Follow these tips yourself, and your child will be more likely to eat that way too.

Some of the problems unhealthy eating causes can continue into adulthood and they can even develop into lifelong diseases

Six top tips for children

learning in isolation way to remind them that while we are constrained, some nice things do still happen (a favourite TV show, chat to a friend, a walk with the dog, sunshine, food on the table).

Children being home schooled miss out on social cues and connections with their age peers and teachers. That’s why it is important that parents play a positive role in ensuring lockdown regulations do not get in the way of the plan to go the home schooling route. Dean McCoubrey, founder of MySociaLife, which specialises in educating parents, students and teachers about these complex aspects of life, said slowing down the learning process is a good starting point for parents. He offers these top six tips for supporting children learning in isolation:


Have a structured routine on school days. It’s also important to have some “go-to” tasks that help them feel purpose and accomplishment, like making the bed every day, a hot bath, helping with cooking, and planning what things may make it more social or interesting.



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Social distancing means physical distancing, but doesn’t necessarily mean ceasing socialising. Help your child set up regular Zoom calls with their friends and grandparents or other family members. Meal times are important. No devices ideally. Just ask your child about the highlights and lowlights of the day. And ask them just one thing they feel really grateful for. It’s a good

Basic health like a balanced diet, eight hours of sleep or more (depending on age), good hygiene and exercising will really help. It allows the body and mind to process the stress and replenish the battery. Encourage and help your child to take up a practice that relaxes and inspires them. For example, a simple morning exercise routine that they develop themselves, a regular leisure reading session, or kids can also try meditation. The Headspace app has amazing animations to explain how our minds work and that it’s okay to have ups and downs, and how to create space for this.


Encourage your child to ask for help. Let them know that the door is always open to chat – even if it’s not with you but with a trusted aunt, or a therapist. Another view is often very welcome.

How to home school a child whose interest lies in



ANY parents who home school their children get challenged with the question “how does your child participate in sports?” and as inconceivable as it may look, most people believe that home schooled children lack the knack for sports. Home-schooled children can indulge in sports and can do so, with help from a personal and trustworthy trainer who mentors aspiring professional athletes. Home schoolers can participate in privately-organised sports events and tournaments, which aim to keep athletes on their toes and mentally-sharp on the field. The benefits of engaging in sports is to teach children teamwork, discipline, how to become a “good loser and winner’’ and also keeping them physically fit. Moreover, to professionally compete, pupils must have an adjustable schedule when they have to travel, compete and study. This makes home-schooled athletes easier to train than school-going learners due to their ability to balance academics and sports. According to Wits University’s sports officer, Sharmin Naidoo, Covid-19 has brought with it a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and fear for many young athletes, who are looking to further their careers in a professional or university environment. “The pipeline is a term used by any sports coach or recruitment officer that is involved in any athletic recruitment and/or a retainment system, and it refers to an organised pathway of players from a chosen age group to final selection or contract. “Some professional franchise system pipelines will start with talent identification from as early as eleven years old. The top institutions will start their pipeline at age 16 or grade 10. “My advice would be to choose your environments wisely. Choose a university that is able to get you the best academic qualification that will set you apart in your chosen field of study, and provide you with opportunities on the sports field. “If you have the talent and ability and you choose an environment with the perfect balance between human resources, facilities and opportunities, you can still achieve your dreams in the years to come. “This should inspire young athletes that are still navigating themselves towards the end of their school careers to make sure they develop a plan that will help them enter the pipeline. “I see the current challenge as creating young athletes that are less entitled but more willing to work harder for what they want. Most importantly, I see more future young stars focused on the idea of the student athlete.”


tips on choosing the right subjects Choosing the best subjects for you is very important to your success at school, including home schooling, and your success in your future career. High school learners have to choose their subjects in grade 9 and will continue with these in grades 10, 11 and 12. It is often a nerve-wracking and tough choice, and can lead to anxiety that it’s irreversible. According to CareerPrep and CareerPlanet, following the tips and tricks below will help direct you along the right path.

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Think about your future goals Take time to really think about what career path you would like to follow. Do not feel pressured to be what someone else is choosing – everyone is different. Your career choice is your choice and a deciding factor in the subjects you choose.

Choose subjects you enjoy Besides selecting the subjects needed for your chosen career path, choose subjects that you enjoy. When you choose these you will listen more, work harder and do better. Remember that not all subjects are relevant to your future life and that is okay. Most importantly, you must have among the subjects you choose, those that will take you to where you need to go.


Focus on strengths and weaknesses All students have their strong and not so strong subjects. Be sure to include your strong subjects into your selection. If you have been excelling in maths, then include Pure Maths in your subject choice. However, if you have been struggling then rather choose Maths Literacy.


Make note of compulsory subjects The four compulsory subjects are two official languages (one Home Language and one First Additional Language), Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation. Learners must also choose three optional subjects from a list of 25 approved subjects. Of these, a maximum of two additional languages may be selected.


Make a list of subjects you want to do Draw up a list of subjects you may want to do and start narrowing it down according to what is required for your career


Consult with your parent/guardian Although you have the final say, consult with your parents/guardians and seek their advice. They can help provide direction and may clear any doubt you may have. It is highly advisable to seek the guidance of a career counsellor when making this all-important decision as this is what shapes your future.


Tips to consider when writing an essay


n essay is defined as “a short piece of writing that expresses information as well as the writer’s opinion”. If you have never written an essay before, or if you struggle with writing and want to improve your skills, it is a good idea to follow a number of important steps in the essay writing process. According to Student Life and Business Matters here are five steps to take into account when preparing an essay:


Brainstorm You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. Before you start writing, take a minute to organise your thoughts. Write down important points that you want to make in your essay.


Write a thesis Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. A thesis is the main idea or argument that guides an essay. The thesis sets up what the reader can expect to learn from your essay.


Write the body The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic. Each main idea that you had in mind will become a separate section within the body of your essay. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as

the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format.


Write the introduction Now that you have developed your thesis and the overall body of your essay, you must write an introduction. The introduction should attract the reader’s attention and show the focus of your essay.


Write the conclusion The conclusion brings closure of the topic and sums up your overall ideas while providing a final perspective on your topic. Your conclusion should consist of three to five strong sentences.


Adding the finishing touches After writing your conclusion, you might think that you have completed your essay. Wrong. Before you consider this a finished work, you must pay attention to all the small details. Check the order of your paragraphs. Your strongest points should be the first and last paragraphs within the body, with the others falling in the middle. Finally, proof read your essay to see if it makes sense. Make sure that sentence flow is smooth and check your essay for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Parents are a child’s first teachers and the home is a child’s first classroom

Tips for parents teaching their kids at home


S parents, we’re all still feeling heavily burdened coming to terms with Covid-19 and its effects on our everyday lives, including schooling. Currently, children in public schools are still at home, with the exception of grade 7 and grade 12 learners. Schools and teachers are working quickly to create distance learning plans, while parents are juggling financial uncertainties, unusual work situations and basic needs, all while trying to keep their kids engaged with learning at home. Here are some ways parents can help their child stay on track when school is closed: Establish a daily routine Create a daily routine for your child. This will be different depending on the age of your child. For example, older children are more likely to adhere to a timetabled school day and a younger child’s routine can include drawing and colouring. Stay connected Your child’s school is likely creating a plan for digital learning, if this isn’t already in place. Stay in touch with teachers and other parents to work through it together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Turn off the news and talk Limit the news. It can be scary, especially for young children. Remind your child they are safe and that life will get back to normal. Ask them how they are feeling. They can draw or write about it too.

Allow for social interaction While social distancing is vital, staying in touch with friends is also important for all children. Providing opportunities to interact socially with peers will help children maintain connections and boost their mood. So if your child is at home, give them a chance to connect with their peers during their breaks, like they would during breaks at school. There are a host of technological options available to support virtual connections, many of which working parents now use themselves and are already familiar with. Stay active Our kids spend a lot of time moving around at school, so it’s important to ensure that they are still engaging in activities they enjoy while they’re at home. If it’s practical, spend some time outside jogging or walking. It’s also worth looking into some of the many fitness apps available that can “organise” your activity for you. Handling anxiety Parents must make sure to listen to children and hear their concerns about what is happening around them. It’s important to provide them with ageappropriate information that is based on the facts. For younger children, keep answers simple: “Sometimes people wear masks when they are sick so others don’t catch it.” Ask them what they already know so that you can clarify any misconceptions they might have. Getting this balance right will help your kids continue with at least a part of their education while they’re at home – and who knows, you might learn something new too.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

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