So mom and dad, as you already know, school’s not out – it just went online.

As families adjust to social distancing measures, parents are getting used to their new role as accidental home educators. In most cases schools are sending work home to ensure that learning continues. And, as pupils across South Africa are forced to enroll in virtual schooling due to the national lockdown, it may not be as easy as you initially thought.

Juggling your own work requirements with your child’s education can be tough. Also, with additional challenges such as problems with connectivity, limited data (and a few more!) … it can be daunting, to say the least.

This is an unprecedented situation, and no one really knows how long it will be before schools reopen. Your child’s academic success is likely to depend heavily on the support you provide in lieu of day-to-day contact with teachers. Many schools are making use of Google Classroom or Google Drive to ensure that the curriculum is followed. And, lucky for you, great educational content is being provided which allows you to line up more than you need to keep your child on track.

The Education Department has put together studying and reading material on its website. Also,  pupils can access Vodacom’s e-learning school for free educational content for all grades. MTN has provided zero-rated online resources while Microsoft has offered students free access to Office 365 by visiting Even radio is on board with the Covid-19 Curriculum Support Program for grade 12 learners.

Our goal as parents is to ensure that our kids keep pace with their peers so they’re ready to hit the ground running when it’s time to return to school.

Here’s how:

  • Have regular contact with your child’s educator. Get to grips with the syllabus and what is expected.
  • Form a social media group with parents in your child’s grade. Actively engage as a parent and stay on top of what your child should be learning and where to find the resources.
  • Set up an ideal study space. Find a peaceful, quiet area. Remove all distractions and keep digital devices for study purposes only.
  • Stick to a schedule. Kids thrive on structure. Set specific times for schoolwork, mealtimes, free time, bed time and chores.
  • Have a holistic approach. Include physical exercise and play as part of the learning day to keep them interested.
  • Encourage and motivate them. Discuss incentives and rewards that will be rewarded at the end of the week.

The positives of this new wave of temporary home schooling is that kids could be task- and not time-orientated. Difficult concepts such as fractions could be explained by cooking a meal together; addition and fractions could all be covered while everyone gets fed. Win-win, right?

Now is the ideal time to bond with your kids and really get to know who they are and what academic challenges they have.

True, we’re not all born to be teachers, but remember, this too shall pass.

You’re doing great!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.