By: Blessing Adedimeji Adeyanju
Updated on April 2, 2020
The pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 has left a lot of parents clueless on what to do about their child(ren). Everyone is made to stay at home till the virus is subdued. No school, no Educational camp and no physical tutorials e.t.c. While we patiently wait in our various homes, we hope that a vaccine is found for this virus. But how long are we going to wait and what happens to our children while we wait? No one knows how long we are going to wait, but we do know what happens to our children. Just as adults are being curious about Covid-19, so are children naturally curious about their world; they want to make sense out of things. Since there is no more school to engage their minds academically, your children wants to cover up the blank spaces in their minds, therefore, they have constructed different versions of what is currently going on in the world.
If appropriate actions are not taken, children will most likely experience regression this period. Regression is the loss of learned skills. Some regression is normal in all children- with and without learning disabilities or special needs (Logsdon, 2019). The regression that most children with or without learning disabilities will experience this season will be a normal regression. Although it’s a normal regression, but no regression is good for your child. It is normal, it’s not a disorder because, instructions that a child has not stored in the long term memory can fade away after some times. For children, regression occurs after breaks in academic activities. During holidays, children’s learning is not only at risk of stagnating but regressing (Stewart, Watson & Campbell, 2018).
Whether a child will regress or progress, lies in the hands of parents at this critical period.
How long Covid-19’s break will take cannot be predicted. But if it takes more than the usual school holidays, children will be affected if they are not properly cared for. Parents are no doubts teachers at this critical period. This includes parents from all socioeconomic status and parents with different educational levels. Positive effects of parental involvement on student academic success have been recognized by teachers, school administrators, and policymakers across educational settings (Graves & Wright, 2011). Therefore, parents, really surprising result can spring out from your effort. It only requires patience from parents in order to achieve positive results.
What we recommend that you do to your children in order to attain progress and avoid regression.
FEED THEM WELL: This is listed first because; feeding has a lot to do with children’s performances. Not only does holiday hunger jeopardize children’s physical and mental well-being, it also impedes their capacity to participate in activities and learn (Forsey, 2017).
PLAY WITH THEM: One thing that is common among children is play. So this period where play is restricted beyond their homes, let them still enjoy playing in their house. Play can go a long way in helping children achieve a lot of skills in and outside academics.
REVISE WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNT WITH THEM: Revision will make them recall what they have learnt, reduce the chances of forgetting and will increase their chances of doing better when they resume school.
TEACH THEM NEW THINGS: Children are curious and always want to understand their world better. This is a period whereby you can help their curiosity. Help them get answers to their questions and take the responsibility of teaching them new things as your job.
MAKE USE OF DIGITAL DEVICES: It is inarguable that in this 21st century, digital devices have become a very useful tool in improving children’s academic performances. Let your children watch videos and let them play games with different digital devices. The most cost-efficient way to help prevent your child from falling behind in class during holidays might be to buy computer apps, games or programs that reinforce the skills your child is likely to use (Logsdon, 2019).
OBSERVE THEM AND MAKE LEARNING FUN TO THEM: Children are dynamic; it will be a difficult task in achieving a lot with them if all you use for them is a static and conventional approach. What works for a child better may not work for another. Observe your children and know the best way they prefer learning. Teaching your children through their own methods makes learning fun to them. All you do is to be creative about it.
Boom! Your children are far from regression.
Forsey, A (2017) Hungry holidays: A report on hunger amongst children during school holidays. Retrieve from http://www.frankfield.co.uk/upload/docs/Hungry%20Holidays.pdf
Graves, S. L., & Wright, L. B. (2011). Parental involvement at school entry: A national examination of group differences and achievement. School Psychology International, 32(1), 35–48.
Logsdon, A. (2019). Regression and learning loss during school breaks. Retrieved from http://www.verywellfamily.com
Stewart, H., Watson, N., & Campbell, M. (2018). The cost of school holidays for children from low income families. Retrieve from http://journals.sagepub.com