How to help your children start offline classes without much discomfort
February 2022 finally saw many schools and colleges across India, go offline. Students and teachers are interacting in person. Exams are happening offline in schools.
There are still many of schools in Bangalore and in many parts of India, which will resume offline classes for their students only from end of May or early June.
So, what can parents do to support their children? There are no easy tips or tricks to make children transition from online to offline classes. There will be resistance when you push them from their comfortable home, which was their place of learning for almost 2 whole years to physical school in a structured environment.
I have complied a list to help ease this transition, based on consultations with the teachers of few schools and my own experiences .
- Almost 2 years of online classes and the transition to offline classes is hard for many students. To start with maintain consistency. Ensure that your wards are off to school each and every day as per school norms. No leniency when it comes to going to school physically. I have seen some parents agreeing to their children’s request of alternating online and offline classes. It makes it more difficult to transition.
- Remember lunch or short break still remains students’ favorite time. Put on your thinking hats and create dishes that they like and are healthy. Conversations still happen over food.
- Once your wards are back from school, make time to talk to them. Check with them about the school activities. Ask them about their day.
- For Parents who are working full time, please ensure that you spend at least an hour with your children discussing about school. Ask them about their friends and offline classes.
- Incomplete class work, homework, projects etc. will have to be followed and completed but not during study time. Ensure that your wards reduce their screen time at home to complete pending work. Study time is meant for learning understanding and revising.
- If you wish to inspire and motivate your children to study without the help of gadgets, then you will have to start doing that. During study time, parents will also have to keep down their mobiles and laptops. Go the old-fashioned way of reading a book. “Monkey see, Monkey do”.
- Some children are now terrified of being questioned by teachers and friends. Assure your children, that if the teacher calls you regarding them, you will definitely not jump to conclusions and assume that your child has done something bad or is poor at studies. Instead, you will listen and decide the best course of action.
- 2 years of online classes have made many children watch social media during their regular classes. Their minds are used to the distractions. In Offline classes, sitting at one place, paying constant attention and zero distractions has become a harder concept to accept. To encourage them, when they are home, allow them to play sports, paint, sing or cook something as recreation. Send them on small errands to become more mindful.
- No more of wearing just the shirt of the school uniform for classes. Remind them to dress in uniforms as school norms.
- Becoming structured is a required habit once the offline school starts. Spend at least 15 mins before bed each night to prepare for school activities the following day. It can be arranging books, ensuring home works are completed, checking the school planners or diary etc. As a parent start participating in this routine for a few days, till they become adept.
- As a Parent expect that your child will feel shy or awkward communicating with his friends and teachers for a few days. Trust your instincts. You know your child the best. If something doesn’t feel right, feel free to check with his/ her teachers and school counsellors.
My son who started offline school in March found that most of his friends had grown quite taller and bigger than him. He was intimidated for the first few days. I listened to him rant without offering any advice. It took a week or so for him to adjust to his friends, after that the height and bulk didn’t matter.
For the first few days, he felt nervous going to school. I confided that sometimes I also have this nervousness while attending a job interview. It seemed to settle him a bit.
My friend’s son for the first week was regularly complaining of stomach upset, just before leaving for school. She understood his emotions but never let him miss school. She ensured that he went to school even if he was late. This was a good way to get over his fear of school.
An inspiring quote by Albert Einstein on education
“Education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think”
May and June are just around the corner. Start preparing yourself for sending your wards to offline schools.