'Structure, patience key to successful homeschooling,' say experts

Structure is important when homeschooling your kids
Structure is important when homeschooling your kids
Image: 123RF/ langstrup

With homeschooling having been thrust into the hands of unequipped parents due to the Covid-19 lockdown it's only natural that parents and learners feel anxious about learning from home.

Sowetan editor Nwabisa Makunga spoke to leading education experts Deon Swarts, Thina Maqubela as well as Gugu Ntuli from the SABC during a live webinar on how parents can do homeschooling right.

"One of the things we need to wrap our minds around is that we are not supposed to be replicating what is meant to be happening at schools," said Maqubela. Maqubela who is a lecturer and social entrepreneur from Maqubs Academy of Excellence, which provides tutoring services and academic support said this would ultimately frustrate parents and their children.

Maqubela said structure and patience is important to enable children to develop a routine. Makunga asked Maqubela how parents can help in subjects that they are not confident in, such as mathematics. "We need to pull in our resources... coming together as parents to assist each other in this uncertain time," said Maqubela.

She said parents who are better at certain subjects such as mathematics or English can help each other in educating children. In subjects such as Mathematics, parents can be creative by using home activities such as baking to teach measuring skills. However parents need to be wary of not allowing the parent and child relationship to be compromised from tutoring because of issues that arise such as impatience.

"If you coming in full force wanting to be a full time teacher I think you're putting a lot of burden as a parent... I rather a parent come in when needed and monitor the learning," she said. Maqubela said this will also allow parents to focus on their own jobs.

Swarts who is an educational psychologist said anxiety is the biggest emotion people will feel during the pandemic.

"If we model a sense of being in control then our children will model that," he said.

Swarts said to cope parents will have to take it step by step, day by day.

"Most of us have never been in such a point in our lives before and probably never will be," he said.

Swarts said communication is also key to successful home schooling.

"When we speak to them we speak to them in positive terms, we refer to them in affirmations rather than negative consequences. that can have immense dent in their self worth and in the development of their identity," he said.

Ntuli who is the group executive of corporate affairs and marketing at the SABC said parents should take advantage of the educational shows for curriculum based education.

"Recently we launched an SABC educational channel... we long felt that we need a consistent platform where we can support the traditional schooling curriculum and assist learners who can't be in the school space," she said.

Ntuli said because of Covid-19 they have realised the need to have a permanent home for education at the SABC.

Tools for a better homeschooling experience:

1. A working space

2. Using free online resources/ SABC Radio and TV programmes

3. Stationery

4. Respecting their school time

5. Outsourcing tutoring

Thina Maqubela's 'Maqubs Academy of Excellence' can be found on Facebook or contacted on 071 138 9625.

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