Talking about Coronavirus
Do answer their questions
Most children under the age of four won’t fully understand what this whole thing is all about. However, if they do ask questions, explain the situation to them according to their capabilities. Give them the fundamental guidelines for taking care of themselves, using a vocabulary that is easy for them to understand.
Don’t confuse them
Avoid using technical terms like ‘pandemic’ or ‘epidemiology’.
Speak to them calmly and clearly – providing an overabundance of information will only end up confusing them.
Do your research
Before speaking to your children, make sure you consult reliable sources for information. If there’s something that you don’t know, it is better to admit it than lying or misinforming about it. The truth is that there are some things we will only know when there’s more information available.
Don’t send the wrong message
Try not to highlight that the virus comes from China, or that it is associated with certain types of places. Doing so might result in you sending a confusing, potentially racist and incorrect message about the situation.
Working and Learning Environment
Do organize your house
Take the time to modify certain areas of your home. You will want your own space that can act as your office, while your children will need an area to function as their classroom. Natural light and plants will encourage a calm, healthy atmosphere, while making water and healthy snacks available will help break up the day.
Don’t work where you sleep
Try and avoid working in your bedroom if you can. This goes for your kids too. If it’s possible, make sure their classes are in a different part of the house.
Do set targets
Ensure every activity you give your child has a final goal or purpose. This will prevent unnecessary anxiety or uncertainty within your children.
Free-play or open-ended activities will not have final objectives, but if we are working on a project such as planning a vacation or doing some crafts, highlight what the final intention may be. As usual, the focus should be placed on the process and not necessarily in the final result.
Don’t just “leave them to it”
If your child is doing an e-learning activity from school, or if they have been assigned some homework, don’t ignore them.
Instead, spend a few minutes at the beginning and the end of the task, to better understand what they should be doing. Discuss with your children if the desired result was achieved and if they properly understood what they were doing.
Lastly Stay Safe Stay Healthy and Stay Home!
By Thasin Rahim (Chief Curriculum Officer)