An expert reveals how to keep calm and carry on with homeschooling during coronavirus

Despite the benefits, homeschooling can take its toll on family members. Shutterstock
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Updated 09 September 2020

An expert reveals how to keep calm and carry on with homeschooling during coronavirus

DUBAI: Many parents expected that, come September, their children would be back at school and all would be right with the world. As government measures to ensure the health and safety of children continue in Saudi Arabia, however, you and your kids could be finding it difficult to keep calm and carry on with homeschooling.

How can parents help their little ones cope with the mental, emotional and even physical pressures they’re facing?

“Our brains like order, so scheduling can help keep the brain calm,” said Reem Shaheen, counseling psychologist and clinical director at the BE Psychology Center for Emotional Wellbeing in Dubai. “Establish daily and weekly routines, the daily schedules for example should break down the day’s different types of school work, as well as incorporating play, exercise and relaxation time and breaks for meals. This ensures there are no surprises and helps children feel less uncertain in what is an unpredictable time.”

What’s also important is keeping the family’s mood uplifted. “Carrying out activities such as sports, listening to music, cooking, drawing and painting can help release happy hormones, keeping the whole family feeling rejuvenated,” explained Shaheen. “These activities can also contribute to the release of the hormone oxytocin, which not only makes you feel love and trust it keeps stress hormone cortisol at bay.”

Shaheen also believes it’s important to check in with school mates to retain some level of normality for when schools do open. “If socializing in person isn’t possible then ask the kids if they would like to video call their friends and, if so, add it into the weekly schedule,” she noted. “But be aware that some children find this unusual form of ‘chatting’ and contact overwhelming and may prefer to do an activity such as a quiz on the call instead or maybe show off something they’ve made.”

With schools expected to be very different when children can finally return, what can parents do to prepare their little ones? “Be informative and available for questions,” said Shaheen. “Every school’s protocols will be different, but what we can all do is clearly explain safety measures such as washing hands. More than anything, praise them often and also praise yourself as the parent – you’re doing a great job.”


French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

Updated 20 September 2020

French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

DUBAI:Up-and-coming French-Tunisian singer, model and actor Sonia Ben Ammar has joined the cast of “Scream 5,”  it’s been revealed this week.

 According to Variety, production on Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures’ upcoming relaunch of the  famous horror film franchise is set to begin later this month.

Filmmaking duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are behind “Ready or Not,” are directing the forthcoming film.

The first “Scream” film was released in 1996, well before Ben Ammar was even born.  A smash hit upon its debut, the movie helped to revive the horror genre, becoming the highest-grossing slasher movie of all-time. 

This will be Paris-born Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress. She along with other young franchise newcomers will be joining returning cast members David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who are all reprising their iconic roles as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott.

Plot details for the new film, set to debut in theaters on Jan. 14, 2022, are still under wraps,  so it is not yet known what role the French-Arab star will be taking on.

“I’m SCREAMing of excitement!! (sic)” wrote the 21-year-old on Instagram, announcing the news to her 730,000 social media followers. “Incredibly grateful to be part of one of my favorite franchises. 2nd photo is my face when I got the call lol (sic),” she captioned a screenshot of Variety’s article announcing the news and a blurry snap of her clearly overjoyed. 

However, it’s not the multi-hyphenate model’s first foray into the film industry.

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.”

She’s also appeared in several music videos, including “Drivin’ Thru the Night” by DJ Petit Biscuit, as well as clips for her own singles, such as “Joyride” from her debut EP.

In addition to music, Ben Ammar is also a rising model, and has worked for many major brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Carolina Herrera and Chanel, among other prestigious fashion houses.