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Home-based learning for Singapore students: How can you support them better

While the current world situation has forced many students to switch to home-based learning in Singapore, this was already a growing trend, and it is likely to last for the foreseeable future. At the end of the previous school year, around 96 per cent of students participated in home-based learning. Home-based learning (HBL) provides more flexibility for students and saves the time they would otherwise spend on getting to school. Many students even benefit from supplementing their traditional in-person education with home-based learning programs in areas that interest them or are weaknesses. 

Regardless of the reason your child is engaging in home-based learning in Singapore, there are some things that you can do to support them better. 

Prepare the materials and space

One of the best ways to support your child with HBL is to ensure they have all the resources they need to succeed. Start with an internet-connected device and knowledge of their login details. Write these down for them if necessary. Make sure you also set up a nice learning space that is comfortable and distraction-free. 

Complement this by creating a structure for the day with your child, just like they would have in school. This includes things like eating breakfast and changing out of their pajamas. 

Work with their level of independence

Home-based learning in Singapore will not magically make a child who is not an independent learner become more independent. If your child has not previously done well with independent learning, then be there to provide support and encouragement. Take advantage of the resources available to your child, such as extra one-on-one time with teachers. 

At the same time, children who have already shown some degree of independence in their learning are likely to thrive when learning at home. If your child fits into this category, encourage their independence. Show them how to log in and submit assignments, but let them self-motivate. Of course, you should still be ready to step in and give independent learners the push they need to stay on track, when necessary. 

Recognize all that the teachers do, including the support they provide

It is sometimes easy to mistakenly believe that home-based learning in Singapore makes life easier for the teachers, but this is not the case. They must adapt to a new way of teaching and find ways to keep students engaged remotely, which is hard enough to do in-person. How does that play a role in how your child learns with HBL? 

Recognize that teachers also provide some support for your child, but that they will be limited in the support they can provide. If your child misses an online class, for example, their teacher may be able to provide one-on-one tutoring, but they may not have the time. Accept any support the teacher provides, even if it is just a few minutes of individual help for your child. Recognize the support of the teachers and realize that you are not alone in supporting your child.

Remember that this support goes both ways. The initial home-based learning in Singapore earlier in 2020 confirmed that parents help teachers, especially with keeping younger students on track. 

Find other areas of support

As you search for ways to support your child during home-based learning in Singapore, do not just rely on their teachers, as they can only do so much. Encourage your child to also talk to classmates if they have questions about classwork and the teacher is not available. 

Even once you have exhausted the help of teachers and classmates, do not feel as if you have to provide the support alone. Older siblings and relatives can also assist your child, whether with understanding concepts, creating strong study habits, or sticking to a learning schedule. 

Provide emotional support, as well

As you provide support for your child during home-based learning in Singapore, do not forget to provide emotional support as well as educational support. Some children will love HBL while others will struggle with it and yet others will be somewhere in the middle. 

Accept that your child is sad about not seeing their friends or participating in in-person extracurricular activities. Be there to comfort them and come up with alternatives. At the same time, encourage them to pursue hobbies they can continue to do, such as drawing or reading. Take advantage of spending more time with your children as they learn at home to enjoy activities you did not have time for before, such as cooking together. 

 
 

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