Homeschooling in assisted living for youths
Homeschooling is the key word in the current debate about school closures. While there has been much discussion for months about how homeschooling can be arranged in families and what emergency care is available to parents, residential groups are largely left out of the public debate - even though the need here is particularly high. Children and young people who come from difficult backgrounds and who have already had a difficult start in life face an increasing educational gap. VISIONEERS e. V. participates in the project "Mobile Jugendlernhilfe- jetzt!" in the course of which child and youth welfare organizations in Berlin receive funding from the DKJS to send support teams to residential groups. The program is funded by the Senate Administration for Education, Youth and Family of the State of Berlin, Department of Youth and Child Protection.
VISIONEERS has learning support staff working in 10 residential groups throughout the city of Berlin.
Here, educators work at the limit of their capacity. The groups are often mixed in age, and in the mornings and mornings several children have to be looked after at the same time as they complete their schoolwork, while the normal daily routine in the residential groups continues. Often, only a few laptops and tablets are available for online lessons. Since the clear structure of the lessons is dissolved and movement is restricted, a lot of frustration builds up, which is discharged when unloved tasks are completed, which in turn has to be absorbed by the pedagogical staff.
The challenge of tutoring for homeschooling lies primarily in finding ways to motivate children and adolescents to concentrate on their schoolwork. VISIONEERS tutors report on their efforts:
"Tutoring multiple children from different grade levels in parallel is challenging. I sit with 1-3 children in the common room with a large table and assist them in completing their schoolwork. There's quite a bit of movement and distraction involved, since not everyone has the same rhythm, kids and teens go back to school some of the time. So we study together while one teenager in the group is making his school lunch and another is just coming out of the online conference and telling us loudly about it. With many children, you notice that the rhythm is missing and the motivation for "school" decreases. It works well when I encourage and negotiate deals, i.e. "an unloved task" in exchange for something that the child/teenager enjoys more, and try to establish a connection between the tasks and the children's/young people's everyday lives, which sometimes works more or less well, depending on the day. Talking with the educators:inside helps to understand what is going on with the individual children."
"I am always in a residential group at the beginning of the week, at this time the students always have a little more freedom to choose the tasks of their favorite subjects with which they want to start the week. Unpopular subjects tend to be shifted to the back. Many find it particularly difficult to structure their own work. When several young people are supposed to complete their tasks together in one room, they often distract each other, because chatting and annoying each other together is usually more fun than school. It's also a lot about rekindling motivation, which wanes a bit more with each week of homeschooling. It helps to sit next to the students and actively discuss the tasks with them, so that they realize that I take them and their tasks seriously and think about them."