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In a rather prescient move, the government of Delhi shut down primary schools on March 6, much before lockdown was implemented. Secondary schools soon followed and remain shut to this day. It was a smart move to fight the spread of coronavirus, but came with its own shortcomings.

Most schools assumed this would be a temporary measure, and didn’t bother working on their technology systems to ready them for virtual lessons. Now these schools are scrambling to run home-schooling successfully.

There are many logistical problems they have had to face, including:

  • Teachers are not technologically savvy, and don’t have access to computers of their own
  • Issues related to internet and wifi because group meeting apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, require high-speed internet connections
  • The lack of planned curriculum that can be taught online, as opposed to the existing curriculum made for real classrooms
  • The cancellation of year-end exams, and students being assessed on their performance through the past year (which is perhaps a good thing!)
  • Dwindling supplies of paper, stationary, paints and other material at home due to closure of markets
  • Dissatisfied parents angling for reduction of school fees

My son’s school has been ahead of the game at every juncture, and till quite recently, I was unaware of these issues plaguing other schools. We had started online lessons from the first day of lockdown. The teachers were present in school, throughout the first week, while the students stayed home. This allowed them to formulate curricula and collect necessary materials, in the eventuality of working from home. The school’s active Technology Department tirelessly navigated the teething problems parents and teachers faced in adjusting to this new process. Examinations were cancelled following instructions of the international Cambridge board, which our school follows.

I’m very thankful for our school’s proactive approach and their concern for the welfare of their students and larger community. In addition to the daily lessons and assigned homework, the school sends out online resources for parents as well– fitness sessions conducted by an alumnus of the school, cheerful music and the like. Most of all, I’m grateful that parents don’t have to rack their brains to figure out the age-appropriate curriculum for their children!

With such a hands-on approach, I understand why our school can’t waive or reduce the term fee. But my friends, whose children study in other schools, are decidedly concerned. When the school’s idea of home-teaching is limited to emailing worksheets, perhaps the expensive fee isn’t justified? But then the fee is required for teacher’s salaries as well as to keep the infrastructure of the school running. So, I’m reserving judgment on this situation for now!

Home-schooling isn’t all hunky-dory though, even if well-planned. The kids enjoy attending classes in the comfort of their homes, wearing pyjamas, but parents have to make additional time to attend and supervise the lessons, along with their daily chores and work responsibilities. In homes with more than one child, there need to be separate devices and separate assigned areas for each child, which makes everything harder.

The children may be happy, but the parents are quite harried trying to keep up with everything!

So, here’s a tip for parents reading this post:

Keep the kids busy with art and craft projects made with junk around the house. Discarded toy boxes, empty toiletries, old greeting cards, newspapers etc. can all be re-imagined to make something new. Don’t look for instruction videos online. Let your imagination guide you and you’ll be surprised at the results!

My TV show recommendation for today will make you and your children happy:

“Happy Days” is a sitcom that captures America in the 1950s through its endearing characters and funny stories. My brother and I watched it every afternoon on TV, when we returned home from school, which makes this show quite special for me. Perhaps you’ve seen it too as a 90s kid in India? Now you can re-watch most of the episodes on Youtube.

A book series that was instrumental in my growth, is:

The “Harry Potter” series, which probably shaped many children and inspired many writers. Though each book in the series is dear to me, my personal favourite is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. I read each book as and when it released, and this one came out when I was around 14/15 years of age, corresponding to Harry’s age in the book, which allowed me to live the story with him and his friends on a personal level.

As for blogs, here are the ones I think you should check out:

www.happymomlifestyle.com is where blogger Arulmozhi N Mahesh is documenting a fun 30s survival guide for ladies, through this AtoZ Challenge.

www.heartspeaksbyjd.wordpress.com is where blogger Dr. Jyoti Arora is documenting her personal journey of parenting a celiac child, through this daily blogging challenge.

www.healthwealthbridge.com is where Dr. Amrita Basu writes detailed and informative medical posts that will certainly prove useful in times of need.

That’s all for today, folks!

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter H?

Hasta la vista till tomorrow!

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This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

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71 Comments

  1. My friends have been facing very difficult challenges during this home-schooling routine. This is especially tough with households with two children. And on top of that, if you have both parents working – I can’t imagine how tough would that be!
    I feel for the techers too – they have to handle their own house and children, take online classes, check worksheets, and what not!!
    These are testing times indeed.

  2. Yes I agree with different aspect of home schooling you had shared in the post Noor. here, my girls are attending online schools nearly more than one month. it is ok than nothing..but yes as a parent, I have to take extra care and give more time to them for their smooth learning. I loved Dr. Amrita’s blog ( your recommendation), she writes very informative posts about different medical issues, and I often them quite informative.

  3. Home-schooling isn’t easy but it can be done and need be done especially in times such as this. Tech-savvy teachers are not always required. There are apps for big students. Even parents can do their bit with small children.

    1. Of course I’m aware of those apps. My point as a parent was about the school’s role in home-schooling. Parents have go be involved one way or another, but schools are falling short of their duty.

  4. The schools with pro active approach are helping the students now a lot, it also teaches them to be updated technology wise. Post covid19 I’m sure companies schools and all other departments will have a backup plan and stay prepared for such situations. Interesting recommendations and new bloggers as well.✨✍️ Happy writing ✍️🤗Have a beautiful day Noor!✨💐

  5. Homeschooling, even in normal circumstances needs a lot of patience and persistence. Now, with the limited resources and under increased work pressure, parents are finding it difficult to catch up. yes, the schools were not prepared for all this. Nice to hear that some schools are already staying on top of it. very realistic concerns raised.

  6. You know Noor, I really like this idea of keeping kids busy with arts and crafts during lockdown. Am seeing Pragnya is doing this with amazing talent for her Penguin. Lovely post.

  7. That is very thoughtful of the school to prepare everything before hand and start the online sessions so soon. My own national level institute still hasn’t figured out how to go ahead with the courses during this lockdown. Internet availability among the students is a major concern.

  8. Good one Noor. Home schooling requires the parent and teacher to come together. It is tough on both but it is equally tough for the child. They have no friends around, no giggling , no having fun ..it is a tough time for all.

  9. Unfortunately, my daughter’s school is not taking their online classes. I don’t know why? very disappointing. School is saying we will inform you.

  10. It will be too difficult for control kids, especially when they are confined to the four walls of the house. Great to know that the school has taken such measures to help combat lockdown blues. 🙂

  11. In my daughter’s school the annual exam was almost finished when they declared holidays. They have sent in the question papers for the two remaining subjects and have told the parents to ensure the children genuinely attempt these question papers and to send it along when the school reopens whenever that may be. BTW I have finished watching all the episodes of Alias Grace and I must say I loved the ending. I am scouting around for similar psychological thrillers on Netflix now.

    1. That’s good… at least there is a system of sorts in place!
      I’m so glad you liked it- I’ve seen a ton of psychological thrillers on Netflix, but none match up to the edge-of-your-seat storyline or the powerful performances of Alias Grace.
      But you could try Mindhunter and Freud, which are on similar lines. Dark, also on Netflix, is more sci-fi than Alias Grace but it is an incredible show.

    2. You spoke my mind Noor, as for as my son’s classes online classes are going so smooth, we parents are so happy to see our kids busy till afternoon with their school works, I love their pattern of teaching they have FUn Friday,when there is no study stuff for kids, teachers have planned so many online activities like online group games /interaction session casual chit chat kinda/story telling with Principal/PE session with coach/Dance workshops etc. But In India I have seen in many schools teachers and students are struggling to run this system. thanks for the recommendation of a movie and that too with family and kiddos,will check this out,

  12. I like the heading – Home schooling , Happy kids Harried Parents. My daughter is also at home doing assignments. However, she hates doing them and misses her friends also. But none the less she is very interested doing creative stuff with all the material. Just yesterday she made a doll’s house with the microwave carton.

  13. I am not a parent but I completely get it. The schools need to train the teachers first. Those that already using tech to teach are able to make the transition, others are struggling to cope up.

  14. My son’s school got over on 6th March as well. Fortunately, we haven’t been intimated about any online classes yet but I am dreading that it won’t be long before the struggles get real.

  15. My son’s school got over on 6th March as well. Fortunately, we haven’t been intimated about any online classes yet but I dread the fact that it might be a real thing soon.

  16. Very few kids have access to home-schooling in India, Noor.i t is just not feasible yet. You pointed out the reasons yourself. I think it is an ehye-opener for all schools to go computer savv and have a set syllabi online

  17. I have two kids but my son has just taken admission and in April was his first day but because of lockdown it’s not happen. My daughter having online assignment ,classes and it is blessed.

  18. Another wonderful post Noor. The points you listed about homeschooling are absolutely correct. Thank you for the show recommendation.. didn’t know about it. Will watch it soon. I started watching Panchayat and I’m enjoying it!

  19. Homeschooling is the need of the hour but it is tough for parents. We are starting ours from Monday but today in the intro class lot of parents had doubts and issues. Let’s see how they go. Thanks for the recommendations

  20. I have read and heard about Home-schooling a lot in the past. Even researched to write articles for the education series on my blog, but honestly I wasn’t convinced. However, since the beginning of virtual classes for home-school of my daughter, I am might impressed by the school and technology.
    What a wonderful post Noor! You have brilliantly mentioned all the angles of this concept.

  21. You are right that the switch over to remote learning has had both positive and negative aspects. I am lucky in that both my girls are in college now and while they are home and switched over to online learning they obviously can manage it themselves. The hardest thing is finding a quite place for each of us to work separately. Weekends In Maine

  22. My children are grown up so I’m saved the trouble of keeping them occupied. But they have their own issues of course. And now with the online classes and loads of hw they are busier than before. But all in all I’ve been very upbeat about home schooling. I’ve had to do it almost thrice for them due to our constant moves and I think we all had fun.

  23. This is such agood one Noor. I completely agree that schools who are doing the home schooling now have the upper hand I .Keeping up with pace and not letting parents worry. Good that your son is in good hands

  24. Keep the kids busy with art and craft projects made with junk around the house: Brilliant tip! I have been doing this with my kids throughout the lockdown – its amazing with the kind of ideas that kids can come up with. As far as schooling is concerned, the school has taken a backseat for now. Kids are learning critical life skills though.
    #DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter #BlogchatterA2Z

  25. Home schooling is something maximum of Indian parents and students are experiencing and enjoying during lock-down. We as parents are finding innovative ways to keep them busy too. So it’s a learning experience for us and them too. It’s fun to see when kids are virtually interacting with their peers and teachers and enjoying this learning time with fun. Harry potter is my all time fav and can read it any-day anytime.

  26. Even my kid’s school were closed on 6th March and their achievement day was called off. But I appreciate how they created groups and are providing sheets and videos to teach kids. The first video was on germs and how can we protect ourselves. Zoom is now being discouraged as there is a fear of your personal date and information getting leaked. Hope things settle down soon and we are back at normalcy.

  27. We had a trial online classes for a week and starting regular classes from Sunday. In a way I am happy that atleast for few hours, I am saved from “i am bored” dialogs.. 😉 though every situation will have both sides, all are trying their best.

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