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With no clear end in sight to our current wave of Covid-19 infections, “Imagining new learning spaces” (theSun Feb 15 issue) writers Premkumar Rajagopal and Geoffrey Williams made a key point that with remote home learning there is an overriding need for teachers and students to learn and improve their new skills in teaching and learning respectively.

Also, key issues, including lack of IT skills among teachers, low student motivation, lack of suitable devices for home learning, weaknesses in infrastructure and poor internet access, have to be properly addressed.

In addition, parents and care givers as stakeholders have an important role to facilitate their kids’ home learning process and progress by striving to create a suitable or enhanced home learning environment.

Perhaps, the following four basic tips can help parents to support, and motivate their child’s learning at home:

> Create the best space possible by trying to have a comfortable quiet area for home learning;

> Establish clear rules and goals. Experts stress that students will focus and work hard when expectations are clear;

> Rely on routines to get and stay organised. Make sure kids get sleep, waking up with enough time to have breakfast and get dressed in school clothes, an important cue that it’s time to focus. As with school recess, allow for some time to be spent outside or on an indoor physical activity, that is proven to help relax and reduce kids’ stress levels and increase their readiness to learn; and,

> Be patient and give encouragement. This increases their kids’ feelings of competence.

Research has found that being supportive and caring will have children studying hard for their parents, being cooperative and following the rules and routines.

Common sense suggests that increasing learning opportunities at home have a positive effect on a students’ academic progress.

Also, it is pertinent to note that research stresses that a positive home learning environment is even more important than parent/s’ occupation, education or income.

Sze Loong Steve Ngeow