How to Embrace Your Role As Your Child’s Teacher In The Online Learning Setup: 8 Tips From Pinoy Parents
These experienced parents offer tried-and-tested tips.
If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught all of us, it’s that we need to be resilient. This is something which many people, especially parents, have to embrace, especially as we face another year of home-based learning.
Home-based learning, whether via homeschooling or distance learning, is certainly something that one needs to be equipped for. Unfortunately, millions of families around the world had to plunge into it last year without really knowing what to expect and how to handle it.
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally, including here in the Philippines, parents and children alike face another school year of strictly home-based learning. In fact, many school-aged kids have already started their distance learning journey, whether online or via modules. And many parents are still somewhat at a loss as to how to support them.
If you’re one such parent, here are some tips from moms who have been doing home-based learning. We hope you find them helpful!
Prepare materials over the weekend.
Ina Arabia-Garcia works full time as a marketing head of a retail company, and reports to the office Monday to Friday. She is also a hands-on mom of three kids ages 3, 6, and 8, and closely supervises her two older children’s online classes.
Ina shares, “One tip that works for our family, especially since I work outside, is that I prepare materials over the weekend since the schools give the overview of activities ahead. I involve the kids in preparing [them] so they have an idea of what they’ll do that coming week. It makes them excited, too.”
Have a dedicated learning space.
Ina also emphasizes the importance of having a specific study space or area for the kids. “Have dedicated areas or ‘classrooms’ where the kids [will stay during] their classes so they don’t get distracted with other things happening in the house. Since we have 3 young kids with classes that are somewhat simultaneous, we have separate areas for each of them so they don’t bother each other while classes are ongoing. It also makes the kids feel that they are really in class.”
Embrace your role as your child’s teacher-partner.
Jing Jing de Guzman, a mother of three with one more on the way, says she learned a lot about managing her time because of her work-from-home setup and her kids doing online learning at the same time. Her job as an Human Resources relations and compliance specialist at an exclusive boys’ school has her clocking in from 7 AM to 4 PM.
At the same time, Jing helps her daughters ages 9, 7, and 5 with their online lessons. “We have no helper or yaya so I do the cooking and other chores while balancing work and mommy duties,” she shares. “My husband works the night shift, so he’s usually resting during the day. Thankfully, my mother-in-law stays with us so she helps with whatever she can.”
Jing shares one important lesson that she has learned from the past year: “Embrace your role in online distance learning as your kids’ ‘teacher partner.’” She expounds: “I guess it’s a blessing that I also work for a school—I understand all sides: the teachers, the parents, the students.”
Have discussions with your kids regularly.
Jing also says that open conversations with her kids helped them adjust to their online distance learning (ODL) set-up. “It’s important for parents like us to explain to our kids why we need to do ODL now—because of COVID-19, we need to stay safe. We should also encourage our kids to appreciate their classmates and teachers, even from afar.”
In addition, she emphasizes the importance of providing structure to our kids’ daily routines and communicating with them about it. “Kids do best when they have structure and it will make it easier to discipline them consistently,” she shares.
Focus on the positive.
Pehpot Pineda, a blogger/vlogger, also has words of wisdom to share with all the parents out there who have kids doing distance learning.
A stay-at-home-mom of five kids ages 18, 16, 13, 11, and 5, Pehpot makes sure to monitor and help her kids whenever she can. Despite being very active online due to her blogging and vlogging tasks, Pehpot and her husband decided that it would be better for their children to go the module-based route rather than attend online classes last school year.
Pehpot shares, “Based on my experience, one advice I can give is, don't be too stressed out when the kids miss an activity or two. Just focus on what you can do to help your kids and not dwell on why he/she missed it.”
This school year, Pehpot’s children are doing online distance learning, and she’s sure that she has more lessons to learn as a parent.
Trust your child’s teachers.
As a hands-on mom to her five kids, Pehpot knows how challenging it can be to teach more than one child, so she really empathizes with her kids’ teachers. “All parents must remember that the teachers/educators are not your enemy. Instead, you need to work hand in hand [with them] for the kids’ sake. You have to trust them and always treat them with kindness,” she expounds.
Mental health is key.
Michelle Aventajado, mom of four kids ages 22, 19, 16, and 10, highlights the importance of taking care of the mental health of not just the children, but everyone in the family.
With her many roles—as wife and mother, the executive director of Best Buddies Philippines, a columnist for different lifestyle websites, the blogger behind Momma N’ Manila, an advocate of inclusion in education, the workforce, and society, and so on—Michelle knows all too well how important it is to rest our minds every once in a while.
“It’s ok to give everyone a mental health day,” she shares. “When things got rough and we were at a point of frustration and feeling overwhelmed, I realized that one less day in front of the computer was okay. One time, the whole family really took a break—we rode in the car and went for a picnic. The moment when we sat down and started snacking, there was a familial sigh of relief, which showed that we really needed a break. So, my tip is knowing when to take a break.”
Equip yourself with strategies for joyful home-based learning.
Ina, Jing jing, Pehpot, and Michelle are just four of the 30+ speakers who will help families thrive in home education with strategies for joyful homeschooling and distance learning at the Connect Homeschooling and Intentional Parenting Summit 2021: Thrive at Home—or simply #CHIPSThriveAtHome—that gives participants on-demand streaming access for 30 days.
Interested to learn more? Make sure not to miss the following talks too: How To Help Your Kids Thrive In Distance Learning by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, Supporting Parents’, Kids’ and Teen’s Mental Health by Dr. Michele Alignay, How To Keep Your Family Safe Online by former Google Philippines Country Manager Kenneth Lingan, Study Habits to Help Kids Thrive by homeschool graduate Meg Barraca, and many more!
For more details and registration, please visit www.educatingforlife.net. This fully packed event starts on July 30, 2021.
Tina Rodriguez is a wife and homeschooling mother of 6 by vocation, and a writer, editor, and content manager by profession. She is also one of the moms behind Educating for Life or EFL, an advocacy of four homeschooling moms who have been organizing parent education and homeschooling events since 2013, including the annual Philippine Homeschool Convention. The EFL moms created the Connect Homeschooling and Intentional Parenting Summit in response to the needs of families who are struggling with home-based learning because of the pandemic.