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How to keep kindergartners learning during Covid-19

Parenting By Audrey Masitsa
Allow your child to explore and discover their talents (Photo: Shutterstock)

With the fate of preschoolers still uncertain, ensuring that they continue learning and are sufficiently occupied is paramount.

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When the lockdown started, my daughter was quite keen to get out her new workbooks, her teacher had sent book recommendations to help her keep up with her school work, and get to her number work, language and colouring. We had a routine. As I worked, she’d sit beside me and do her sums, read and write and colour a picture or two. I even bought her a sketchpad that she used to create her own art which was quite good, I might add.

But as the weeks wore on, I noticed that she was less enthusiastic about doing school work. It became a battle just to get her to complete one page of her workbook, whereas before she could have easily done two or three pages without being asked.

Then she started saying she missed school. I knew then that we needed to change tactics to make this stay at home more bearable as we awaited orders on when schools would reopen.

Keeping a kindergartner occupied is hard. However, I learned that with a little creativity we can come up with fun activities that will keep her learning and that we’d both enjoy.

Below are a few ideas on how to keep your kindergartner learning during Covid-19.

1. Start with activities you enjoy

I’m not a very good teacher and trying to homeschool my little one has confirmed that I cannot teach little kids. Props to all teachers, by the way! Nevertheless, when it comes to teaching and learning, start with activities you enjoy. Whether you like baking, drawing, organising, photography, gardening, etc., get your child to help out. These activities provide practical ways to apply what they learn in school.

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As a bonus, this is a great way to teach them different skills that they might not necessarily have learned in school. And, your child will enjoy having the extra time together.

2. Don’t insist the school work

Studies have shown that preschoolers learn better when they’re in a group setting making it hard for them to enjoy extended periods of solo learning that is homeschooling. So if they wake up one day and don’t want to do their sums, let them be. Give them something they enjoy doing instead and this will keep them happy and out of your hair for some time.

Ordinary household chores can be great learning opportunities (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Make use of technology

There are many child-friendly learning apps and websites that will provide daily activities that your child will enjoy. I have downloaded an app that my daughter really enjoys. It has storytelling, sing-along and quizzes which she loves taking part in. She doesn’t go online everyday but it’s a nice way to vary her learning activities.

I have also taken to watching some documentaries with her and teaching her about different cultures. I’ve found that these also provide me with an opportunity to introduce her to the struggles of others, something she wouldn’t have learned from the confines of home.

4. Allow them to explore

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Playtime is a great opportunity to get your child to explore and discover new things. With plasticine they can create their own figurines. Cutting out pictures from newspapers can help sharpen their hand-eye coordination and they can use the pictures for storytelling.

And once they’ve finished playing, you can teach them to clear up after themselves.

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