The past year has thrown up various challenges, affecting almost every aspect of life. Among these, school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant challenge, especially for the youngest of students. As per a study published in April 2021, “students made little or no progress while learning from home” and losses are “even larger in countries with weaker infrastructure or longer school closures.”
In this blog, we explain how unboxED – multi-disciplinary boxes including literacy and STEM resources for parents to use at home with kids – can help reduce this learning loss.
1. Authentic opportunities to converse, read and write
As per an extensive study conducted by Azim Premji University, children have experienced significant losses in language abilities, specifically listening comprehension, oral expression and writing skills. unboxED provides children with many fun opportunities to authentically express themselves through conversations, drawings and writing. Parents read a relatable storybook with children and talk about the story with the help of conversation cards, which have been specifically designed to strengthen comprehension and oral vocabulary skills. Children then engage in hands-on grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing activities that give plenty of opportunities to practise these core language skills.
2. Real-life application of concepts
The shift to online learning and Zoom classes, while necessary given the circumstances, has exposed the weaknesses of technology in ensuring robust learning. One of the key reasons for lack of engagement during online classes is that it is difficult to sustain attention and understand new concepts without hands-on activities. unboxED solves this problem by providing children with opportunities to understand these concepts through real-life, hands-on application, with activities that require them to touch, feel and observe actual objects. For example, in exploring the concept of light, children plant seeds in two pots – one with and one without a light source – and note their observations over several days. They also explore reflection of light with the help of mirrors, and then apply their understanding to build their own kaleidoscope! These activities keep children highly engaged while also pushing them to think deeply.
3. A rich learning environment
One of the key differences between school and home is the learning environment. A school is a rich learning environment – students are surrounded with hundreds of textbooks, storybooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries and newspapers, as well as charts, flashcards, notice boards and other sources of information; they have easy access to paper, pens, pencils, crayons, paints and other stationery items needed to write, draw and express; and they have innumerable opportunities to have conversations with friends and teachers, and express themselves orally during classroom discussions and playground arguments. unboxED helps create a rich learning environment at home with language resources such as riddle cards, memory games and vocabulary puzzles, as well as conversation prompts to ensure meaningful discussions. unboxED also provides science and maths resources such as domino tiles, balls, marbles, beads, mirror pieces and so on, in the context of structured STEM activities. These resources can be used to carry out a number of experiments to understand concepts like speed, weight, force, light and so on!
Head over to www.things-education.com/unboxED to subscribe to unboxED and have 12 months of educational activity boxes delivered to your doorstep!
unboxED offers the child resources to build a growth mindset while exploring Literacy and STEM concepts through conversations and creation, and letting them be kids. These products have been built keeping in mind the academic and cognitive skills needed at various stages of the child’s development.