MOE Gives Tips, Debunks Myths On Home-based Learning
As parents and students gear up for the one-day-per-week home-based learning which begins in April, the Ministry of Education shared The Parent Kit for tips and to debunk myths on HBL.
From Wednesday (1 April), students in Singapore will begin home-based learning at home one day a week, as the Ministry of Education (MOE) enhances measures in combatting the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
In an announcement on last Friday (31 March), the MOE primary school will have lessons at home on Wednesdays, secondary schools on Thursdays, and junior colleges and the Millenia Institute on Fridays. The arrangement will not affect MOE Kindergartens.
According to MOE. the move is to “allow both our students and parents to be better prepared should the situation call for more days of home-based learning.” The agency also said they will “provide instructions to students and parents on accessing HBL materials to continue with their learning.”
Addressing concerns through The Parent Kit
The education ministry has compiled a guide, called The Parent Kit to explain how home-based learning will work, and how parents can support their children’s learning during this period.
In The Parent Kit, the MOE said that HBL could take the format of e-learning, such as online assignments, receiving notes or worksheets through e-mail messages, as well as hard copy assignments such as textbooks. It also said that parents should not compare with others as “every school has a different plan, based on the needs of its students.”
The agency also said that “not all of the time will require the use of an internet device,” and therefore it advised parents with more than one child to “teach them to take turns.”
The Parent Kit: Tips to Support Your Child in Primary School
- Get ready together
Set up an area conducive for learning, such as at the dining table or study desk. This should not be where your child sleeps! Check that your child has the necessary resources, such as:
- Passwords and Login IDs: Access the online portals that the school will be using (e.g. SLS) with your child, and get them to note down their login details.
- HBL timetable and relevant materials: Ensure that your child knows the schedule and brings the materials home the day before. Arrange the materials by subjects in the study area for easy access.
- Point of contact for HBL queries: Teachers will inform your child about their preferred mode of communication – they are not required to share their mobile numbers.
- Establish a structure together
Unlike in school, an adult may not always be present to supervise your child. It is important to work out a routine with them on:
- Study, meal and rest timings
- “School” time (e.g. change out of pyjamas before starting HBL)
- “Recess” time (e.g. healthy, balanced diets)
- Recreation time (e.g. 15 mins after completing each subject)
- Recreational activities at home (e.g. reading storybooks, craftwork, exercise)
- Recreational activities online (e.g. decide how much time he/she should spend online, establish boundaries such as not chatting with strangers)
- Have regular check-ins
At the end of the day, have a conversation with your child about his/her experience. You can talk about:
- The HBL experience: How was his/her day? What did he/she learn? Was it difficult/manageable? Would he/she need to tweak the learning area/routine? What other support would he/she require?
- The COVID-19 situation:
- How does he/she feel about the current situation with COVID-19?
- How is he/she feeling about being away from his/her friends?
- Does he/she have any questions about COVID-19?
- It is okay if you don’t have the answers – look for the answers and learn together! Affirm him/her for adapting and showing the spirit of resilience.
- Plan ahead
Working parents should take this time to think about alternative childcare arrangements should the situation change and the number of days for HBL is increased.
Tips on how parents of secondary school students can support their kids can also refer to The Parent Kit which will be made available to parents via the Parents Gateway.