Learning Management Tips for Studying at Home

Managing Children’s learning at home may seem more complicated than managing them in a classroom setting. However, there are interesting ways to do it.

Learning December 10, 2020

Managing Children’s learning at home may seem more complicated than managing them in a classroom setting. This is because of the nature of the home environment, there are lots of distractions. This calls for lots of self-discipline on both the learner and the teacher (most likely parent). However, there are interesting ways to do it so that eventually learning at home may result in rewarding memorable experiences. After all, learning from parents was God’s original plan. 

The few years we lived in Eritrea, I had to home-school our four children. It was like a real class, though they were in different grades. Each child has a different temperament. We were not really on lockdown, but there were a number of restrictions here and there because the churches were closed. We would usually go to shop for fresh supplies of vegetables once a week. Apart from that we stayed within the mission compound most of the time because teenage children were all expected to go for National Service (our oldest son was a teenager).

Here are a few tips on Managing School that I learnt through the Eritrean experience. I will call these 5 Bs; for the five important points. Bees may sting but they make honey. So, though we face hardships during the Covid-19 period, there is honey at the end. Let us focus on the end result.

  1. Be organized and stay ahead. Read ahead and plan the lessons. Set daily, weekly and monthly or termly goals, and deadlines. (SMART) This will promote a smooth flow of activities instead of having gaps when there is nothing to do and the teacher is preparing the next lesson. It reduces frustrations that come with disruptions.
  2. Be accommodative. Avoid being too rigid like you are running a class of 40 learners. Two children may fail to complete a given assignment; one child could be a perfectionist, while the other is a procrastinator. Bear with each one. Individual variations exist even in a small class.
  3. Set priorities and adhere to your schedules, even though visitors may interrupt. But remember to be flexible, even with the most organized programs there are bound to be disruptions. So instead of getting worked up when interrupted, look for the bright side. Train the children to be self-disciplined. Get busy making great progress on an easier assignment. Or use that as the break time to enjoy refreshing moments so that when they get back to work they are energized.
  1. Be creative. Resources at home may be restrictive, but if you pray for creativity you can improve and have effective lessons. Capitalize on teachable moments. A lot of learning can still take place outside class. Hence, when you are done with school and you are preparing meals you may apply the mathematical concepts of measurements, and ratio. You could do similar concepts in shopping. You can use your creativity or children’s creativity in music/ song or acronyms etc to learn or master certain concepts so the learning is fun packed.
  2. Balance study, work and play. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “there is a time for everything.” Have specific times for study, work, and playHelp learners manage their time well. Preoccupy the garden of the soil before the evil one plants noxious seeds. There will likely be lots of junk material on social media at this time. Provide spiritual reading books, music, or memorize Bible verses, listen to or watch videos of Bible stories so as to leave no room for reading from polluted sources. “Intemperate habits of reading exert a pernicious influence upon the brain as surely as does intemperance in eating and drinking. The best way to prevent the growth of evil is to preoccupy the soil. The greatest care and watchfulness is needed in cultivating the mind and sowing therein the precious seeds of Bible truth.  {CE 188.1}. Avoid too much of everything though, maintain balance; children are children, let them enjoy childhood, but in a positive way.
  3. Be prayerful and optimistic. Avoid complaining before children about the negative things in the News. This is time to bond with children as you do activities together, play together, do crafts together, or do gardening together in the afternoon focus on positive themes. Continue repeating encouraging verses such as Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ strengthens me.” 

Generally, children who learn through such conditions develop self-discipline, are self-regulated, and tend to develop intrinsic motivation. They depend less on extrinsic motivation even later in life.
When finally, it’s over we will look back and praise God for shared moments as a family. “Let parents seek, …to exemplify the love and beneficence of the heavenly Father. Let the home be full of sunshine. This will be worth far more to your children than lands or money. Let the home love be kept alive in their hearts, that they may look back upon the home of their childhood as a place of peace and happiness next to heaven. The members of the family do not all have the same stamp of character, and there will be frequent occasion for the exercise of patience and forbearance; but through love and self-discipline, all may be bound together in the closest union. – {CE 229.3}.

Author

Constance Chifamba is a lecturer at Solusi University, Harare Campus. She has worked as a High School Science teacher. Currently is a Chairperson in the Education Department (Faculty of Education), Solusi University. She enjoys reading and gardening.

    1 comments

  • | December 11, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Dear Dr. Chifamba:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful yet timely article. I was so I was so blessed and at the same time motivated to implement your suggestions for home education.

    I know from experience that you have set a unique example for the church in Zimbabwe regarding “home education.”

    Blessings,
    Youssry

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