The COVID-19 pandemic came with a lot of changes that no one was ready for. One minute, we were all arguing over climate change and the next minute, everyone was forced to stay at home. The average office worker had to work from home while people from other sectors did the same.
However, one major domain was hit particularly hard by the pandemic: children’s education. Most children had to stay at home and either participate in virtual learning or be homeschooled by their parents. Even with schools reopening around the globe, things haven’t still been restored to complete normalcy. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the effects the pandemic has had on children’s education and how to combat them.
Major Effects of the Pandemic on Children’s Education
Although the primary victims of the pandemic were the economic and healthcare sectors, children’s education still suffered some damaging impacts. These include:
During the peak of the pandemic, most children found it difficult to grasp certain educational concepts. In between virtual learning and homeschooling, the former became much more difficult. In fact, about 7 out of 10 children revealed they learned very little.
This difficulty in learning was caused by several obstacles, such as:
- Not having enough access to the internet
- Not having help available
- Less feedback and assistance from teachers
Although some of these obstacles were already present pre-COVID, they became more prominent after the pandemic struck.
Lack of access to educational resources
Since schools were primarily shut down, it became increasingly difficult for children to get access to educational resources such as textbooks and learning games.
Even caregivers admitted that they had problems paying for educational resources since unemployment rates had skyrocketed.
Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that children’s education took a pretty big hit during the pandemic. From the children themselves to caregivers and teachers, absolutely no one was spared.
What About Parents?
Parents were already having a pretty hard time with parenting duties before COVID. After the first couple of weeks staying at home, they found themselves thrust into a new role: teaching. A lot of parents had to take up homeschooling, and more often than not, found themselves Googling how to do it.
Since most of them weren’t ready for this sudden role, a large percentage of parents reported that they felt overwhelmed and were having issues with helping their children learn.
How Children Can Learn Better During the Pandemic
Although the world is gradually recovering from COVID and schools are beginning to re-open, most children are still finding it difficult to learn. To help your child (homeschooled or not) learn better, here are some tips to try out:
Establish a strong routine
If your child is struggling with learning, you should set a well-structured routine in place. You can start by factoring in fun educational programs that will make the learning process easier and more engaging.
However, it’s important not to overwork your child with too many learning activities. The average kid needs some level of flexibility in order to assimilate concepts better. If your child seems restless or disinterested at any point, pause that particular lesson and take a break.
Protect your kids online
Today, the internet and digital technology has made it possible for children to learn online and communicate with their friends and educators. However, it all comes with a slight catch. Increased online access can expose children to a wide range of dangers, such as cyberbullying and online predators.
Before you leave your child at the mercy of the internet, have a conversation with them about cyber safety. Let them know about appropriate online behavior and how to spot potential predators. However, don’t be all talk with no action.
Take further proactive steps by setting up parental controls on their devices to save them from online dangers. This way, your child can learn safely and smoothly.
Stay in touch with their school or educational facility
Communicating with your child’s teachers is a great way to ensure that you’re ticking all the right boxes when it comes to their education. Even when school isn’t in session, you can get guidance and information from these experienced professionals. Similarly, you could also join parent groups and communities to get all the support you need for homeschooling.
The COVID-19 pandemic completely transformed children’s education, and even as the world returns to normalcy, education might never be the same again. Children’s grades keep declining, but the numbers aren’t the only thing going down: parents are too.
Hopefully, some of the tips listed above will help you navigate the murky waters of post-COVID education and virtual learning. Just remember to give your child sufficient breathing space to cope with the overwhelming shift in their mode of learning.
Patrice Corrie was a literature tutor in the past and currently works as a content and essay writer. She is also working on launching a blog about academic writing to share her expertise. She loves spending time with family and reading about medieval European history