With the halls of learning closed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, in excess of 10 million school kids need to continue their revision and learning at home.

So, who can parents turn to as they look to make sure their children do not fall behind and are still picking up the knowledge and learning they would be at school?

For pupils studying language in particular, learning in isolation is a huge obstacle. Practicing phrases verbally and having conversations to hone your skills is essential to improving your understanding and ability.

While becoming a substitute home tutor is an overwhelming prospect for many mums, dads and caregivers, who are having to adapt their working and everyday lives, there is help at hand, especially when it comes to helping your child become proficient in another language.

Rosetta Stone is offering three months’ free language learning to all schoolchildren, allowing them to choose a learning course for a language of their choice.

Rosetta Stone for  School Children offers up to 250 hours of language learning in 24 languages that can be accessed on any mobile device and via the web. The program is designed by professional linguists to help students with long-term retention and correct pronunciation — without memorization or drills. Features include:

●      Access across devices and offline. Children can learn from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. When an Internet connection isn’t available, lessons can be easily downloaded for offline use.

●      Dynamic Immersion® methodology that ensures learners are immersed in their new language from the start, with reading, writing, listening and speaking exercises that work with the brain’s natural language processing ability to promote faster learning. Neither the parent nor the child needs to speak a word of the language when starting the program. 

●      Patented TruAccent® speech recognition technology listens, analyzes, and corrects the learner’s speech throughout the learning process, so they’ll have the confidence to speak in any situation. 

●      Fun lessons that encourage kids to use deductive reasoning so they remember more, stay engaged and make progress quickly. 

●      Adaptive recall feature that guides learners to repeat activities that need improvement.

●      Enhanced reporting and monitoring tools that help parents keep children on track with printable reports and lesson progress data.

Children need to have at least a beginning reading and writing level in their native language (usually around age 7) in order to use Rosetta Stone for Students. Parents who have several children learning different languages can claim subscriptions for each child by following the instructions provided. 

●      Don’t try to model the classroom. You are providing education in your home. This can become confusing to younger children. A desk and chair is not necessary. Try a bean bag, the kitchen table, the sofa.

●      Do make learning times fun. Education can happen at ALL times of the day. Be willing to be flexible during this time. 

●      Education doesn’t just happen with a timeline or books. Follow your kids’ interests and use occasions or events on TV or in the news to structure your topics of study.

●      Keep in mind that you are transitioning from a parent to a parent acting as teacher. This can become an area of frustration between the child and parent. If an area of study becomes too much and compromises the relationship, it’s okay to step away from it for a day or two. Learning will always suffer if the relationship is stressed. Try a different subject or activity such as painting or playing a game. Some of our best and most retained learning come from games like Scrabble!

●      Screen time – For non-educational screen time, set limits and times. It’s easy to get pulled into scrolling on social media or playing endless hours of games during stressful times. Set a timer if needed. Or work out a system of reward time: 20-30 minute segments to look forward to. 

●      Ask LOTS of questions. What are their interests? What do they want to learn about? Make certain to ask about their feelings during this time. Are they concerned? Do they have questions? Now is a good time to address their mental health and what is worrying them. It’s best to keep them somewhat informed and not fearful. You can easily make health and fitness a unit study at this time. Economics, politics for older children: so many options!

●      Physical activity. While we are practicing social distancing, we are not unable to get outside to move. Fresh air and physical exercise will be crucial to mental and physical health. Go for a walk, find an online exercise routine through Instagram, YouTube or even Pinterest.