As children continue distance learning online, the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) is providing tips to parents on how they can create a structured environment for children in homeschooling.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, told JIS News that while the arrangement presents a challenge for some parents who are working from home, this situation can be managed if a structured daily routine is enforced.
“The NPSC is not oblivious to the challenges out there. We have to encourage parents, nevertheless, that schooling continues, even with distance learning at home. What the Commission proposes is that parents must create the structure at home. Timetable your children throughout the day with different activities. With consistency, after a while, it will become routine,” she said.
The Government extended online and distance learning for schools to July 3. Schools will not physically reopen until the next school year on September 7, 2020.
Acknowledging that some parents may be feeling overwhelmed by supervising children’s online learning, she reminded them to seek assistance from the Commission’s parent support helplines.
The 36 helplines, which were launched on April 6, were put in place to assist with the psychosocial first aid of parents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The helplines are manned by parent mentors who are trained in psychosocial first aid. The lines were established to provide peer-to-peer support for parents across Jamaica as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support may be in the form of, but not limited to, the provision of information relating to COVID-19, support for students’ educational needs and psychosocial support.
Ms. Kerr also urged parents to take the opportunity to bond with their children during this time.
“This is an opportunity for parents to sit and really listen to their children to find out how they are feeling, what concerns them, what questions and interests they have. This is also an opportunity, too, to ensure you are not just structuring the day for your children, but that you are also providing guidance,” she said.