As teachers launch distance learning this week, we share our 10 tips for creating a supportive
learning environment in your home.
1. THIS IS NOT A HOLIDAY!
It’s Week 1 of Term 2 and school is back, even if school is now at home. Encouraging your kids to have this mindset is important to establish new routines.
2. UP AND AT ’EM
Encourage your kids to get up at the same time, have their breakfast, clean their teeth, get dressed and get ready for school – the same as any school day. Maintaining this routine will help keep a sense of normality during this uncertain time.
3. BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
A good well-balanced breakfast is necessary for focused learning so encourage your kids to fuel up first thing to keep them firing until morning tea. When they’re hungry, they’re distracted and learning can be harder.
4. OUT OF YOUR JARMIES
Part of the new mindset is being ready for school, perhaps not in school uniform, but at least dressed and ready. This will help younger kids in particular realise it’s business as usual, not a PJ party in the lounge room!
5. RESPOND TO YOUR SCHOOL’S LEARNING TIMETABLE
Your child’s school and teachers have provided advice on how the learning program is being delivered. Delivery may involve being online at certain times of the day or the timing to undertake certain tasks. Make sure your kids are aware of the expectations during this time.
6. LUNCH AND SNACKS
Part of your weekday routine may be to pack a school lunch and snacks similar to a normal school day so you’re organised and the kids aren’t raiding the pantry throughout the day. Get your kids to stop for morning tea and their lunch break as they would at school. It’s a school ritual that can continue at home.
7. A TIME FOR PLAY
During breaks encourage your kids to pop on their hat, get outside in the fresh air and get some exercise – even if it’s throwing the ball for the dog. Older kids may be able to shoot some hoops or kick a ball.
8. RESTRICT SCREENS
Most schools restrict the use of mobile phones and non-educational devices during school hours. You can do the same at home to avoid distractions.
9. STAYING SOCIAL
Your kids will likely miss their school mates. Take advantage of opportunities for social contact with friends in the digital space. Most older kids will be across social media apps to stay connected, but for younger kids who don’t have access you can organise an online catch up with their friends’ parents.
10. STAY POSITIVE AND ENCOURAGE LEARNING
This is a new experience for teachers, students and parents so let your children know they’re doing great and you’re proud of them for adapting so well. Maybe at the end of the school day there is time for a well-earned treat.
Read more about fostering literacy skills at home here.
Find out more about your role as the parent during home learning here.
Andrew McKenzie is the Manager – Governance and Engagement at Cairns Catholic Education