This lengthy lockdown has meant that students are doing their learning from home and home learning has challenges for both parents and children. There are a few tips to help you navigate those challenges to smooth the way and keep your sanity.
1. Set yourself a schedule and stick to it. Your child will benefit from a schedule as close to their school schedule as possible, but allow for enough flexibility to make it work for you and your family.
2. Be prepared. Make sure your child has the materials they need to get their work done. These materials can range anywhere from pencils and paper to tablets and wifi connection. Contact the school if you don’t have wifi or computer access because they can usually organise a hardcopy workbook for you.
3. Provide an environment that is conducive to learning. This can be difficult, particularly for larger families, but it is important that your child has an area where they can focus on their work. You don’t want this area to be so isolated that you can’t check in on them regularly, but you also don’t want them to be trying to get their work done in front of the family television.
4. Create a daily plan. This is in addition to your schedule. Draw up a to-do list from your schedule so that your child knows what they need to work towards accomplishing for the day.
5. Don’t feel as though you need to teach your child. They have teachers for that. Your job is simply to help them understand what they’re doing.
6. Have your child complete as much of the required work as they possibly can. Make sure that any incomplete work is incomplete for a reason. Incomplete work shouldn’t be forgotten, though. If the child is struggling with the work, email the teacher and ask for clarification so that the student can revisit it the next day. Aim to have a deadline for the work to be completed.
7. Help your child check messages and communicate with the school on a daily basis and respond to any that require a response.
8. While working towards getting the work done is important, it is not more important than the child’s wellbeing. The child must be the focus.
9. Learn to identify barriers to your child’s learning. Pinpointing what’s happening or going wrong can help identify precisely why your child may be struggling with the work. It could be focus, motivation or an unbalanced structure. Do they need a finger-wagging or a hug from you?
10. Foster a growth mindset by encouraging them to think about what they’re learning and why they need to learn it.
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