Published: 02nd April 2020
They heart home: Lessons from parents who homeschooled their kids even before this lockdown
We asked the parents of three homeschooled children about how their little ones are surviving the lockdown
Most of the children in their neighbourhood packed their bags and rushed to catch the school bus half asleep, but not Mitra. This homeschooled five-year-old from Chennai, at the same time, would gear up for morning activities with her mother, Supriya Santhanam.
The mother-daughter duo read and make art together, while the child familiarises with the house and household chores at the same time. However, as the Chennai sun recedes, this mother and daughter step out of the house, to begin their day. Mitra then goes for meetups with her friends, visits the children's library and attends her skating her dance classes. "After that, she spends all her time playing. This, on most days, lasts until 8 in the night," Supriya laughs.
Mitra, creating art
However, things haven't been the same for the past few weeks. All the libraries and classes are shut. The country's been under lockdown for a week, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supriya says that, like all the other children, Mitra too misses socialising. "But she is a very mature child and seems to understand the situation. She now practices Yoga and gymnastics on her own in the evening. We also go to the terrace for a walk," she says. "I also give her lessons on cooking. She ensures that she is occupied with something or the other. Also, now that her father's working from home, she enjoys spending quality time with him too," says Supriya.
We wondered if homeschooled children are able to cope up with the lockdown better than the others. Supriya says, "Let me clarify that these children do not spend their entire day inside their houses, they have their fair share of socialising. However, they aren't tied with a lot of constraints and do not end up missing out a lot," she says.
Andrea Menezes Castro from Goa, who homeschools her two daughters tells us that the lockdown did not hamper her children's learning. "I still teach them at a fixed hour. However, they miss out on meetups. But thank God for apps like Zoom, they can see each other virtually," she says.
Supriya Narang, a parent of a seven-year-old, also shared something similar. "He misses out a lot on play time and meeting his friends. But, we do not have added burdens of finishing homework," she says. Now that he has a lot of time in hand, Supriya's son Samarth attends online safaris, live zoos and aquariums. "There is a lot of content for children online. Technology is surely enabling us to still connect with his friends," she says