It is the first week of the school year for many students in Jamaica, and along with the regular jitters about starting a new school year and what that brings, students, teachers, and parents alike, have the added pressure of navigating online schooling.
Below, Sophia Sykers, Senior Teacher and Head of Department, Home Economics at the Roger Clarke High School shares some back-to-school tips for parents to get through this unconventional year.
Nearly two years in, It is still challenging to navigate the online classroom. Remember that while you may be frustrated with having to balance more, you still need to be the tower of strength for your child/ren. Even simple things like asking about their day or asking to show what they’ve been learning will go a long way.
Pray with them
Before they start their day or even just before bed, take a few minutes to pray with your children. To encourage them, you can take turns or ask them what school-related challenges or concerns they may have to help provide direction.
Be their friend
Now more than ever, your children need a listening ear, especially since they no longer have the physical presence of their classmates and friends around. Try to break the ice by doing fun and relaxing activities together and always remind them that you are there if they need anything at all.
Encourage with praise and not criticism
From internet troubles to the need for more devices, there are many ways to get frustrated with online schooling. However, remember that encouragement sweetens labour, so correct in love. It’s a tough time for all, especially our children, so be mindful of your approach when discussing problems. Ensure you celebrate all wins and achievements, whether big or small.
Build their trust in you
Your children are around you more than ever before. This can be challenging and awkward to navigate, especially for parents with teenagers. Try to meet them halfway by expressing an interest in things that are important to them. Always remember to remind them that you are proud of them and that you will be there for them no matter what happens.
Final Thoughts: Back-to-school tips for parents
Ultimately, what matters is showing your child that you are there for them and will be there to help them navigate the uncertainty. Encourage them to talk about their what worries them or may even be frustrating with this transition.
I pray you and your child have a safe and wonderful school year.