Parents need to consider what their children are going through and take a step back and look at what they are doing to their children. Are you causing permanent damage to your kids?
Students today are being forced to stay home and do school work via the Internet. Distance Learning has become the new norm due to Covid-19 and the schools closing to protect students. Unfortunately, many students have parents who are uneducated, English is a second language, or they have little experience with the Internet and so children are being forced to "figure-it-out" on their own. Websites are crashing and teachers are giving homework but not much assistance in the way of teaching. One 7th grade client recently reported frustration with having to do distance learning because her parents are not engaged in her lessons and she has to "teach" herself. Children are getting frustrated because of the expectation that they should be able to adjust to this high demand of self-learning without having the skills or time to figure-it-out and they are getting more irritated, frustrated, anxious, and depressed. The demand is unrealistic for many because the school's requirements have remained the same (grades) except it is the student who must be both teacher and learner simultaneously. The responsibility to perform and the consequences of poor grades have all been pushed to the student.
Additionally, there is no reward for hard work since there are no ceremonies or celebrations, no proms, and no homecoming queens or kings. I was amazed to find this photo on Etsy advertising that parents could "celebrate" their child's graduation by posting a sign in their front yard. How pathetic this must seem to the child who received straight A's as well as the student who struggled through with C's. School has become all work and no play and this has transferred to the home where after school life has drastically changed as well. Parents are stressed and they are stressing out their children. The kids have no escape from the struggles of today and imploding.
When a student is in school they have friends and breaks to help their minds get rest from the studies. This is necessary because our brains can only push hard for about 50 minutes before brain fog creeps in from fatigue and extended focus. When at home, parents can demand their children to "finish" their work and will force them to sit at their studies until the work is done, sometimes for hours. This is poor advice and can create further damage to the learning experience, not to mention anxiety and a sense of helplessness for their child. The COVID-19 epidemic has gone on for way to long and the anxiety parents have over their children's ability to graduate is pushed upon the child to perform at higher and higher degrees of expectation because suddenly the parents know what is going on. Most parents don't know how to motivate their children and blaming and shaming their children can be their only form of motivation. Hear me Mom and Dad, that's emotionally abusive and damaging to your child and could result in long-term emotional problems.
HOW TO HELP
What is not helpful:
Standing over them screaming at them
Demanding and Judging
Doing the work for them
Punishing them with taking away what they enjoy
Making them do all 6 hours of work "until it's finished"
Shame and Blame
Comparing to others
What is helpful:
Asking questions (without attitude)
Offering assistance - also known as "guidance."
Give a 10 minute break every hour
Give a 60 minute break after 3 hours
Give healthy snacks (kids need brain food)
Exercise (take a walk, bike ride)
See if you can make learning a game
A friend of mine home-school her children. When they were young she would use the laundry as a means of teaching them math. She would teach multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition by talking about pairs of socks. She would teach geometry and names of shapes by folding the sheets into squares, triangles, and Octagons.
Home used to be where the heart is. Don't make it a place where broken hearts are. Help them, encourage them, and give them a break. They didn't ask for this, they didn't create the problem. Don't make them responsible for the solutions to the consequences pushed upon them. Let their memory of Covid-19 be more than misery tolerated. Love your children through this and when it's over, they may look back fondly at the connection, appreciation, and help you gave them. You might just see benefits you never even imagined.
"All your children will be taught by the LORD,
and great will be their peace."
Isaiah 54:13 (NIV)
Day 82: Learn