Brave Learning

Multitasking: To do or not to do

As a common notion, homeschooling and multitasking are supposed to go hand in hand. But is it really the rule of thumb and as productive as we imagine? Sana Hashim, an experienced homeschooler and educationist, briefed her fellow mums on the dos and don’ts of multitasking at the Brave Learners annual picnic. Here is a summary of the discussion:

1- Doing multiple tasks at one time may be beneficial in some cases, and detrimental in others.

2- Multitasking results in attention residue, which means that the effects of one task are passed onto the others.

3- Tasks that do not put too much stress on our brains may be combined e.g. talking on the phone AND putting together breakfast.

4- Tasks that put too much stress on our brains must not be combined e.g. talking on the phone AND writing an email.

5- As a general rule, do not multitask when homeschooling your kids. Make sure you don’t check your messages or emails or engage in any other important task where you don’t like to be interrupted. This not only takes away your attention from the kids’ work and progress, but also sets a bad example for them. For kids above ten years, you can assign independent work, but for younger kids, your full attention and involvement in their learning process is critical.

6- Multitasking results in burnout, and in the long run it gives a feeling of accomplishing nothing in spite of spending time doing “work”.

7- Keep the concept of “Ihsan” in mind. Anything that you do, must be done to the best possible level. This is all the more important in tasks that involve Allah, our family, kids and the community. Multitasking while serving the above will not help us achieve the level of “Ihsan

To be aware of the dangers of multitasking in detail, read this article

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