As part of its efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Singapore government ordered that all schools move their classes online as a part of safety measures introduced here. Aside from schools, enrichment centers are also closed while tutors are requested to do their classes online with their students.
The announcement has changed the way students learn, but there are parents who are uncertain about the impacts home-based learning will have over their children’s education as we have discussed here.
To clear out the doubts you may have about home-based learning, we are here to address 8 common myths about home-based learning and what you as a parent need to know:
Myth# 1: My child will be on the computer for an entire day
Home-based learning does not require your child to spend their day in front of the computer.
Aside from online learning through the Singapore Student Learning Space and emails, hardcopies of their reading material and assignments will be provided to students by their school.
It is important to take note that every school will vary on how they will do their home-based learning curriculum.
Myth #2: I have to stand in as my child’s teacher during this time
Since everything will be given to the students, you do not have to stay with them while they do their tasks. In fact, children are advised to learn independently as much as possible during this period.
While doing their tasks, advise them to ask their teachers and classmates (or even you) if they are having trouble with some parts of their tasks. If you are not able to help them with their schoolwork, many parents are already utilizing online tuition where professional tutors can tutor your child 1-1 via free video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Webex.
If your child is still young, you may want to take some time to watch over your child and supervise their tasks. Children will need constant reminders to get them to do their tasks, but as much as possible leave them on their own to do their tasks. If they are on the internet, you may want to be supervising them as advised in this article.
Outside their study hours, make it a point to read or play with them. This will keep them interested and excited to learn even without them knowing you are teaching them.
Myth #3: Balancing work and teaching is impossible
It is true that it is difficult to balance work and home tasks, especially if you have to do work at home. However, it can be done easily with the help of time management.
See your schedule for the day and see where you can add your child’s activities. You can also look into creating a flexible routine where you and your child will fit each other’s activities to give them a sense of normalcy even while they are doing HBL.
You should also use the time to bond with them, especially if you do not usually have the time to be with them due to work. You can also use the same time to inspire them to explore or do creative experiments at home suggested in our article here.
It is ok if you make mistakes here and there, especially if this is the first time your child will be doing HBL. Take time to adapt your activities and see what you can improve on so both you and your child can work well with the schedule you set.
Myth #4: If we do not have internet and devices to access the internet, my child will fall back in their studies
The Singapore government knows that not every student has access to the internet or to devices they can use to access the internet.
This is especially true for families who are earning low wages or from vulnerable sectors.
With this said, schools can lend the devices these students need. Parents simply have to tell the school about their situation and the school will sort out what needs to be done to support the student.
There are also other programs listed here that offer affordable options for families to get internet access and devices for their children.
Myth #5: My children will not be able to do their HBL classes when we only have one device that can access the internet
The length of HBL classes per student varies depending on their current education level.
If they are primary school students, the lessons will only last for four hours.
If they are in secondary school, they will take up to 5 hours and it will take up to 6 hours for Junior College and CI students.
With this said, your children can share one device with one another without any problems. Some schools may provide extra devices to their students, especially if you are earning a low-income wage or from the vulnerable sector.
Myth #6: Schools are shut down
While schools will be closed, teachers will still be online during this time to keep track of all their students’ progress and be available to answer any inquiries.
There will still be teachers in school for students who do not have ready access to the internet or computers. If you will need such assistance for your child, contact the school directly to see how they can help.
Myth #7: My children won’t be able to keep up with their online classes
Even if your child is doing their classes online, they will also be experiencing the same things they do when they are doing a normal class. Disruptions, lectures, and even class discussions will still happen.
With online learning platforms, your children will be able to focus better and take time in understanding their lessons.
They can replay their classes and even do them at a later date if they can’t understand certain aspects of their other lessons. They will also be able to reach out to their teachers easily through the platform.
If you are worried, SmileTutor offers online tutoring through our website platform to assist in Home Based Learning curriculum.
Myth #8: On-site learning is better than home-based learning
No matter what kind of learning is being done by your child, it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. The only thing that they differ from is the way the lessons are done.
The lessons will still be made by dedicated teachers who want the best for their students and the students will also do the same things they need for their classes.
Home-based learning may be the new norm now that the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the country. As parents, it is ok to be worried about its impacts on our children’s learning, but you don’t have to worry.
Home-based learning is designed to help your children during this time and ensure they keep up with their classes. Support them as best during this time and ensure they keep up with their classes.
More about home based learning in Singapore, here are some supportive articles: