While the kids are off school and enjoying a carefree holiday at the moment, on Sunday March 22 that will all change as they are required to head back to their studies.
But their lessons won’t be in the classroom, rather they – or you mums and dads – will be creating a dedicated, quiet workspace in your own home in order for the kids to knuckle down and get to grips with e-learning.
Sara Hedger, Head of Safeguarding and Emily Ellington, Head of Inclusion, GEMS Education home learning, explain that it is crucial to maintain your and your children’s emotional well-being during this time.
With this in mind, Hedger and Ellington have shared their expert advice, and some top tips, to help you do just that.
Relax mums and dads, you’ve got this.
Develop an agreed routine
- Agree the structure for your day. Include ‘wake-up’ and ‘school-finish’ times.
- Make sure you are aware of the school’s timings for online learning.
- Transfer your school’s planner to a home timetable so you know what is happening when.
- Consider making your timetable visible so that everyone in the house is aware of the agreed routine.
- Schedule breaks for lunch, snacks and physical activity.
Think about the environment your child will be working in and maintain good learning habits
- Agree a designated workspace that is free from clutter.
- Try to arrange this in view of a supervising adult.
- Prepare lesson materials and books the night before.
- Keep distractions to a minimum – turn off the TV and place personal devices out of reach until an agreed time. Using headphones might help if your household is busy.
- Make sure your home Wi-Fi is working and have plan in place in case this is disrupted.
Remain connected with your school and peers
- Familiarise yourself with your school’s contact procedures.
- Staff should not be using their personal devices to contact families throughout distance learning. Ensure all communications with school personnel are through approved channels.
- Be aware of the potential for social isolation. Consider accessing local playdates and activities that could support your child’s socialisation.
- If you are concerned about your child’s emotional well-being ask for a virtual appointment with their teacher.
- Be aware of the ability of social media to provoke fear and misinformation. Make good choices about what you engage with online through these channels.
- If you are unsure on any learning arrangements contact your school.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Ensure children are supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
- Talk with your child about safe online behaviours and what to do if they come across something they are uncomfortable with.
- Monitor your child’s online usage and use any appropriate parent controls.
- Ensure you know how to raise any concerns with your school.
- Consider stocking up on high-energy, healthy snacks such as bananas or nuts.
- Involve your child in helping you to prepare lunches and snacks the day before.
- Plan regular breaks that include access to fresh air and physical activity.
- Be open to opportunities that would not normally be available. Try to focus on the positives arising from engaging differently with your child’s learning.
And an important point to reiterate with your children is that they must keep any private login details confidential.