Homeschooling during lockdown
How to help your kids keep up outside the classroom:
- Set routines and stick to them
- Find the right tools to help them stay organised
- Don’t go over the top – be realistic with your goals
- Borrow some creative ideas for after school activities
Parents often exclaim, “I don’t know how teachers do it!” Now, more than ever, that knowledge is both incredibly important and terrifyingly out of reach.
We’ve compiled a list of practical tips to help you homeschool your children and help them (and you) survive the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Set routines and stick to them
Make sure your child knows that Coronavirus isn’t a code for “a holiday away from school” – it’s school outside the classroom. Maintaining a regular schedule will help them follow a routine and stay on top of their studies.
If your child has an existing class timetable, encourage them to stick to this at home. It will also help you to keep up with what they should be studying. Create a cheat sheet and ask them what they learnt each day.
Children need breaks to let new information sink in
Just as important as having a routine for school work, so is having one for play. Young minds learn quickly, taking in a lot of new information, but they need time to process and store it for later use.
Recess and lunch are important times during the day for students to step away from the books and computers and move about. If possible, getting out of the house is ideal.
Minimise distractions – keep focused on schoolwork
Digital devices are amazing enablers of modern homeschooling. They offer a practical way to communicate with teachers and peers, to track their work and to research and explore ideas.
However, it can also create distractions… From Facebook to TikTok, Angry Birds to Fortnite, computers, phones and tablets offer an endless number of distractions to your child (and, if we’re honest, ourselves).
Modern smart devices offer a range of scheduling options to keep your students on task and on track. Some systems allow you to control the access your child has from your own device (check out Family Sharing).
- Screen Time (Apple): https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT208982
- Focus Mode (Android): https://www.blog.google/products/android/android-focus-mode/
For computers, consider setting up a schoolwork user account, which doesn’t have access to any games or distracting apps.
2. Find the right tools to help them stay organised
Check with your child’s school to see what resources they recommend or require for your child to learn successfully at home. Younger students might require simple things like equipment and notepads, while older students may need access to specific computer software.
Video conferencing software may be needed for participation in digital classrooms. These programs are free to use, but make sure you download them from your devices official App Store, their official websites (for Zoom) or use the correct browser (for Hangouts). Before downloading, check the third party website’s terms and conditions and the software (or malware) being installed to ensure its safe for your device.
Additional tools and software may be able to be supplied by your child’s school, or there may be student or trial versions available.
For more information on online safety, see: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents
3. Don’t be too hard on your child – or yourself
The Coronavirus has tipped normality on it’s head. But just like any other time, there will be people sharing what they’re doing on social media, and setting a standard that you may feel you need to meet.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Set realistic expectations of yourself and your child. Both of you are treading new ground and figuring things out as you go. Don’t be afraid to sit down and talk with them about what’s working, what’s not, and what new ideas they have to make things work even better.
Be kind to yourself – borrow examples and ideas from people wherever you find them, but don’t hold yourself to account if you see people being a bit “extra” online.
4. After school activities to free up your afternoon
Coronavirus has forced the shutdown of all organised activities, such as after school care and sports. It’s important that your child has time to relax and unwind after a day of learning.
- Backyard play: If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard big enough to accommodate a range of activities you can encourage your child to spend an hour after school playing outside. If you don’t have a yard, you may want to take the kids out to your local park for fresh air.
- Arts and crafts: Colouring kits or craft sets are a great way to help your child build their imagination and express creativity. Make sure everything is age appropriate – consider pre-cutting for young children, or making them come to you to use any glues.
- Active video games: If space is at a premium, you might need to break the no screens rule – if you can engage them in a physically active game. Various sports games such as skiing or tennis, or training games like boxing or dancing can help spice up rainy days or add some variety to a roster of other activities.
- Cooking: If you have older children, encourage them to cook dinner. Not only will this help them explore, they might develop a passion for cooking and food science. It’s a life skill that will always come in handy.
- Reading: “Reading can take you places you have never been before.” — Dr. Suess. Reading is powerful, and lets people of all ages, not just children, to explore new ideas and engage their imaginations. It’s a great way to spend time and is an important lifelong skill that will help your children pass time now. But, they will continue to learn and explore well into the future.
- Digital excursions: Due to COVID-19 lockdown, a lot of places like zoos, art galleries, and museums are offering digital tours. From the safety of your own home, you can book tours from all over the world. Here are a few places to start:
There are several state and Australian government website resources available to help provide more information about how you can provide education for your child at home during the coronavirus period:
- Department of Education, Skills and Employment: A ‘hub’ of national guidelines for learning at home, with additional factsheets and resources about the impact on standardised testing and student health and safety.
- State Departments of Education: Each state’s education website provides helpful information about learnings at home, your local schools and student safety, as well as government guidelines and
- Head to Health: A mental health resource to help you talk about COVID-19 and the impact of the coronavirus with your children so they can feel calm and in control.
If you need extra help
During this pandemic, it has taught us a lot of things. From social distancing to learning new skills – just remember, we’re all in it together.
While you’re setting up your home office or setting the kids up with their homeschooling tools, if you’re finding yourself short of funds – Credit24 can help. We offer loans from $500 – $10,000 with up to 36 months to repay – it’s flexible and affordable. Get in touch with us today.
If you’re a Credit24 customer and are experiencing difficulty making your loan repayments, please contact our Payments Team on 1800 954 481 to speak about your options.