Previously, we shared with our readers’ experiences of students and parents about homeschooling during the pandemic. Our Contributor Samvidha Srinath shares her story of being home-schooled, much before the advent of Covid19.

The Coronavirus crisis has made social distancing, hand sanitisers, compulsory masks the new normal. Home office, homeschooling and online education have taken over the traditional methods of working and learning. While students in Switzerland veered towards online lessons through the March to June academic year, many countries have fallen in line with holding online classes even after the summer vacations.

But for Samvidha Srinath homeschooling began a long time ago. She narrates her story:

I was home-schooled for an entire year. We were looking for online schools and tutors who could prepare me for my A-Level exams. Surprisingly, we found an online Indian school, which suited my needs. I met my current English tutor for the first time by way of Skype lessons. Back then, I didn’t even know about the most used online learning platform, now the term used in every home or office – Zoom.

The Routine

I used to get up at 5.30 a.m., do my yoga and start my lessons at 6.30 or 7:00 am – until lunchtime. My teacher would send the learning material beforehand or present it during my study session.

During breaks, I’d play games on my phone. There were also days with classes without a break. On those days, a cup of tea and a bowl of snacks during class would keep the stomach rumbles at bay.

At 12-noon, I had lunch while watching TV or reading a book. Then it was time for homework, usually essays and attempting the past examinations’ question papers – in keeping with the time limit, which was usually due for the next day.

The challenge

Everything felt like at school, except for the fact that I wore pyjamas all the time. The hard part for me was stay focused and keep my concentration the entire day. Being homeschooled gave me a chance to indulge in playing the piano, paint, sing and read. It was also around this time my teacher discovered my passion and flair for languages and a talent for writing descriptive stories.

The whole experience was an exhilarating and – to some extent- difficult. It felt like I was taking an exam within an exam. This means that I was not only being tested on my chosen subjects (I was preparing for them by studying), it was also a test of my will power and determination. After an year of online learning, I told my dad that I was tired of being home-schooled. And then came COVID19. I saw everyone around me learning online. It also made me realize the importance of being in school.

Samvidha shares some pointers on staying productive while being homeschooled.

TIP 1: Make a schedule and stick to it
First, think of the important tasks you need to get done by the end of the day. Then do it. The challenge then is to stop yourself from watching the next episode of the best crime-thriller or romantic series or scroll through your phone.

Fun fact: Our scroll downs on our phones on social media is equal to or more than the height of the PRIME Tower in Zurich.

TIP 2: Try new things that have been pushed aside for long
By that, I mean a new hobby. Like learning a new language, for instance. I got the chance to learn Japanese. I must admit that I haven’t come far, but it’s a start. Explore new cuisines, try something out of your comfort zone that does not require you to step out of the house. If you don’t know, then ask yourself questions like: “What intrigues/interests me/piques my curiosity?”

TIP 3: Dedicate time for exercise
This is extremely important. If you can’t do an intense workout, stretch your muscles by doing yoga or go for a walk for at least half an hour. Do it in silence. We have the privilege of being surrounded by nature all the time. A walk in the woods and the fresh air will fuel your creativity.

Meet friends and family on an occasional basis
All of us miss our friends and family even though we live in the same country, although some may be living on the other side of the world. Go out for a coffee meet and catch up with them over a call. Every weekend, I try to connect with my childhood friends and that really makes my day.

The pandemic may have altered our routines but it has also pushed us to try things we never considered before.

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