School closures, either complete or partial, have impacted the learning growth of students all around the world. The result has even been devastating for some of them. As per research conducted by UNESCO, about 101 million children from Grades 1 to 8 have been estimated to have lost significant proficiency levels because of these closures.
Naturally, the damage to the learning growth has been higher in the case of under-developed and developing countries like India. This is because schools play a pivotal role in a child’s education in these countries. They ensure that each child receives at least a basic level of education. Hence, with little to no contact with school teachers children are finding it difficult to learn the basics. In the case of younger kids, trouble is seen in acquiring the ability to read. This has further impacted the learning ability in other subjects as well.
Parents are trying hard to ensure their child's learning growth is not hampered. They are doing so by enrolling their kids in various digital classes. However, these online learning programs have their own limitations in terms of the topics they cover. Also, rarely do they cater to the individual needs of a child. A lot of parents are new to this situation and finding it very challenging to help their children cope. However, with the right guidance and strategies, it is not that difficult to help children learn to read even at home. Let’s take a look at how this can be done.
- Get visual books:
In today’s world, there is no shortage of learning materials available in the market. School textbooks or traditional books are usually very text-heavy. Younger kids being more visual learners, the regular books fail to grab their attention. Books are more fun when they’re about characters kids love! So the next time you go shopping, buy some books with comics or stories about characters they like (from cartoons or movies). The visual attraction of these books will certainly encourage your kids to read more every day.
(Image: Amar Chitra Katha is a collection of Indian fables from Indian folklore. Animals are portrayed with human characteristics and they talk and have emotions. Each story has a moral and has beautiful pictures describing the stories.)
- Use online reading shows:
Apart from the digital classes held by schools, kids are already spending a lot of time online on video streaming platforms like YouTube or Disney. Though screen time is a big concern these days, not all of it is bad. Instead of avoiding screens completely, look up some popular educational shows that they can watch. Just type “reading shows for kids” and you will be able to get some good results. These shows will fulfil the purpose of both entertainment and education on a daily basis.
(Image: The screenshot is of one of the videos by Kids Academy's channel on YouTube that helps young kids learn to read.)
- Use activity books or sheets:
As per a famous Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”, it is important that children learn by doing. To enable this while learning to read, buy some blank comic books or activity books. You can also get plenty of online copies that you can print and use. If you are on the creative side you can also make some at home. This kind of activity-based learning will allow your child to practice more writing as well as reading.
(Image: The screenshot is of one of the activity sheets that can be found free to download from the below-given website of Disney.)
- Encourage them to practice:
No matter how many techniques you use, without practice, your child will not be able to read naturally. So spend at least 15-20 mins a day reading stories with them and encouraging them to read out stories to other people in the house.
- Boost their confidence:
A school provides a safe environment for a kid to learn. With their peers at the same level, they can just go with the flow without having to worry about being perfect. Though smart schools are trying hard to ensure children feel comfortable with digital classes, the reality is different in many cases. A lot of children feel isolated while learning at home with virtual learning. Thus they might feel more conscious of their proficiency. In this situation, making even the slightest mistakes might hamper their confidence. To avoid this, boost their confidence by making them feel proud of their progress and cheering them constantly. You can also do so by giving them a handmade certificate or a gift at the end of the week to celebrate their progress.
To conclude, our little ones will take some time to adapt to this new world of virtual learning. Thus they need some extra hand-holding now more than ever. With focussed and collaborative efforts by parents and teachers, they can definitely overcome this learning gap and emerge with flying colours.
LEAD School has modified its integrated learning pedagogy to suit the virtual learning model and to ensure school readiness for these young children. At the heart of LEAD School’s home-based learning approach is an attempt to replicate the offline curriculum as much as possible. This holistic curriculum includes enabling basic skills in these young kids. Lessons are hands-on, personalised, and easily executed by repurposing common household articles so that all the senses of a child are stimulated.
LEAD is helping children become future-ready. To enrol your child in a LEAD Powered School: Fill the admission form now