Organising Remote Learning For Your Kids During The Covid19 Pandemic

The last few weeks have seen the most massive change to education in Australia (possibly ever) with almost all school students transitioning over to an online learning model to complete their schooling remotely – and how long this will keep going for is an unknown – will it be weeks or months?

Just a small handful of students remain on school campuses and even then they are engaging in learning the same as the students who are studying at home. 

So I thought today I would put up a few hints that can help organise this “Learning from Home” situation and hopefully make it less stressful for the parents and carers out there!

The first thing to remember in all of this, is the following:

Your child’s teachers are still teaching them!

The parent/carer role in this is to facilitate your child in completing the schoolwork remotely, and the teachers are there to support the student in this! (repeat this to yourself whenever this new world order feels overwhelming!).

It seems much of the stress for parents and carers around this seismic shift in learning, is that people think they now have to be the teacher of their child. This isn’t the case!

The teachers are doing an amazing job in transforming the curriculum and getting this new learning format happening, and are thankfully providing the resources and materials for your kids.

They are there to support (and TEACH) your kids!

So reach out to your child’s teachers if needs be, they are there to lead everyone though this journey.

Create a specific learning zone for your student.

This can prove tricky for people where space is an issue, but it is really important to give your learner a dedicated space to work. Even if it’s just a small section of a table or a nook carved out of the living room, giving your student a spot they can go to and focus on their learning will help them get into the flow of learning remotely.

Even if your child normally does homework in their room, for remote learning, look at setting up an area out of the child’s bedroom if at all possible.

While we are all socially isolating, it’s important to keep the kids bedroom area as a space where they can have chill time, and not be associated with the hours of schoolwork/learning.

My son has claimed a small laptop table that I purchased from kmart for his school laptop, and moves it around the lounge area as suits him. Look to see what furniture you may already have that can suit this purpose, and work with your child to create a spot they can call their own.

Set up some structure for their learning.

Some schools are still timetabling their students, other schools are setting work and providing flexibility for students to fit in their learning around home life.

If you child is on a timetable, this means the structure is pretty much already set for them.

Where your childs school is following the flexible model, then discussing with your learner what their school day may look like to ensure the work gets completed is important. Some kids might have to work around siblings or parents who need to use the computer or internet during a set time. Organise a rough timetable of when the child completes their work so that it is simpler for them to get in the swing of remote learning. My son’s school has flexible learning, and he has to work around his sister and her university lectures, so we have set up that he either does his block of work first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon – and the rest of the day is his as long as he keeps up with the work that he’s been set (I’ll let you know how this goes once we are in Term 2 and I have a catchup with his teachers!).

Be flexible.

Even if your child is being timetabled in their remote learning, it’s important to have flexibility in this time. Some days could be an absolute sh*tshow at home with nothing being accomplished – and that is OK! This is when it’s a good time to regroup, look at how you have organised your child’s learning setup, and tweak it.

Remember: EVERYONE is in the same boat with this, if there is one day that something doesn’t go as planned, there is always the next day to work at getting back on track. Your child might just have to pull their socks up and work a little bit harder in their next learning session. So be kind to yourself and to your kids in this.

Take time to get outside.

Breaks away from learning are critical – just like when the kids are at school, ensure they are taking time away from their computers and learning zone to stretch, walk around, have a snack and get outside in some fresh air.

If the day is lovely and there is the opportunity to actually move their learning zone to outside in the sunshine, then do it!


An extra tip.

Have a read through of this great article in the Canberra Times with tips from the School of the Air in how to facilitate your kids learning from home. Definitely worth a read!

So – there you go, some organising hints for your learners during this time.

Leave a comment if you have any great hints parents and carers could use for this time, or if you have an issue you need help with, let me know, I can reach out to some of my amazing teacher friends and see if we can brainstorm a solution for you!

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