Home-Based Learning: How to teach your kids a new language online

Language, Learning

With the circuit breaker rules and tightened restrictions, many parents have been forced to tutor their children at home via home-based learning (HBL) in recent weeks. While this is different from home-schooling your children, because there is still support from schools in this instance, the challenges are widely the same. 

Many parents have jumped online, trying to find videos, activity sheets and all sorts of other resources to help them ensure that their child’s education does not suffer due to COVID-19. To help parents and students during these trying times, we’ve collated a few essential language learning tips that will get you to learn a new language effectively online, from your home.

First things first – look at your home set-up. Your child can’t and won’t be able to learn if there isn’t space or resources available to facilitate learning. If this means clearing the dining table and setting up a ‘school’ or study area, it is an investment that must be taken. If this means that grandma and grandpa can’t watch TV in that space while HBL is happening, those rules need to be enforced. Some parents have even taken to making their children wear their school uniform during HBL hours. This might seem a step too far, but just like putting on work clothes, puts you in the mindset for work, sometimes, having the uniform on can help put your child in the mindset to learn.

Here are some other basics to consider. 

  1. Make a schedule—we need to create order when there is none. The goal is not to make sure they stay precisely on target (or to scramble to catch up if they are behind), but to give them routines
  2. Forgive yourself if you realize you are a terrible teacher 
  3. Accept that your children will be on screens way more than anyone wants, and instead focus on monitoring their well-being and yours.

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look at the student. We all learn in different ways, and not everyone can learn from an online course. Many students need a certain amount of human interaction to learn, whether that’s to ask questions, motivate them when their energy dips, or even to help them structure a lesson plan that suits their needs. 

Studying online is not an easy way to learn; just a more convenient way. Here are our tips on how to get the most out of learning online or your HBL period. 

Outline your goals and learning objectives

It is easy to get side-tracked when you’re navigating your own or your child’s learning. While a schedule can be good to establish routine, there’s no point if you don’t actually learn anything. That’s why setting a goal is helpful. Think about what you want to learn or teach your child today, and then chart a plan to accomplish that. 

Bonus: Consider starting with the hardest topics first!

Set time limits

Use your schedule to help you set a time limit on topics, concepts, and even your overall study periods. Try and stick to these limits as best you can because this will help you build your self-discipline. One great system is the Pomodoro Method. This method splits your study time up into 30 minutes cycles, with 25 minutes of pure concentration, followed by 5 minutes of rest. It will help you break down your tasks into manageable bits and ensure that you don’t get tired or frustrated. 

Ask for help 

This is why having an online instructor can be most helpful. If you don’t ask for help, you risk feeling demotivated, falling behind, or giving up entirely. 

Join an online discussion

Online learning doesn’t mean you have to study in isolation. Connecting with classmates or other groups of students can make your eLearning journey very enjoyable. Try to participate actively in online discussions and group activities, suggest study tricks, offer your inputs, and engage in new ideas.  The Goethe-Institut offers a free learning community called Deutsch fur dich.

Do it your way

Don’t compare your self to others or their journeys. Study at a comfortable pace, accept that you may have good days and bad days, reward yourself or your children for a reasonable effort, and surround yourself with things that make you happy! 

Now studying from 9 AM to 5 PM is not the only or necessarily the best way to learn. Incorporate play and variety within the routine! 

Play-based learning

The daily interactions and experiences you share with your children are how they learn about the world around them. Especially with young children, these interactions need to involve play!

Play is a powerful and important activity. It has a natural and positive influence on children’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development. The best learning happens when children play. It is important to let your children play every day.

It is important to let your children play every day to encourage their learning.

Children will find many things to play with inside your home. Take this opportunity to be with your child and watch what they play with or find interesting. This will give you ideas about the things they like to play with and what you can use to nurture their learning journey. For example, if your child expresses an interest in cooking, you can teach them a new language starting with food! The same goes for animals or anything else they may be interested in! There are lots of videos and free resources online that you can use to support your HBL. 

Whether it is playing dress ups, constructing grand designs with building blocks, singing songs, telling stories, playing with containers or having fun outside with sand and water – play can be built into everyday routines and activities.  

A play-based learning environment encourages talking, reading, thinking and writing. Incorporating this in your language education allows your child to view that language as part of their everyday experience.

Follow these study tips for online learners and you will be able to make your online learning a fun and enjoyable eLearning experience. Language learning is not a direct process. There will be moments when you plateau and moments when you feel accomplished in your learning. Be patient and persist – this is part of the learning process.

There are a myriad of ways to ensure that HBL language time doubles as quality time, but like any other aspect of parenting: trust your judgment, employ your imagination, and listen very, very well. For everything else, trust the Agape School of Education for all your language needs!

Expose yourself to a new language at Agape School of Education through our carefully crafted Courses. Find a language you’re keen on learning through our Courses and begin your language learning experience with us. 

If you’re looking for a good present for someone during this period, instead of food or flowers, why not invest in their knowledge? Give the gift of language with a language course from the Agape School of Education!

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