• Deirdre Brandner

5 Sanity Saving Statements that will help you cope with learning at home.

These 5 Sanity Saving Statements will help you cope with your children learning at home

I offer you this advice as not only as an educational psychologist but more importantly as a parent and past teacher.

1. You are not a teacher, so don’t try to be. You are the parent who is already having to adjust to these extraordinary circumstances. Your child is also participating in formal learning in a completely unfamiliar way. We are asking them to learn without being with their friends and without being in a classroom. So, if it’s not working take a break and reduce the amount that is expected to be completed.

2. Your child’s learning schedule may not match that offered or expected by their school.

We are all in uncharted waters. Some schools may be providing options that work for your child and that is great. However, some schools may be unable to do this because of the nature of their program, and that is also okay. Consider that your child’s learning style may not be suited to what is on offer. If this learning option isn’t working, then STOP. You will not be charged by the Education Police/Truant Office or School Principal if you child is unable to complete the tasks.

Instead make your own schedule. Do 3 types of learning each day, literacy, numeracy and general. Finish before lunch, do something active, something creative and something problem solving.

If the novelty of online learning has worn off don’t be surprised if there is push back this week.

3. Lots of kids….., focus one child at a time…. because that is all anyone can reasonably do. It is okay of one of your children doesn’t get your help in literacy or numeracy for a day. Set up a schedule that you feel comfortable with that will work and so they know when you may be able to provide them with help.

Do not try and be an educational support for every child in your family all day…. impossible! Look away from the social media posts that make you feel inadequate because someone somewhere seems to be able to this seamlessly. Good luck to them but you need to do what works for you and your family at this time.

4. The tasks your child can or can’t do during this time is not indicative of their ability. Parents can become stressed and overwhelmed about what their children are struggling with academically, what their interactions with others look like and how easy or difficult they are finding the work. Now is not the time to be focusing on success and failure as this experience is not a true reflection of what their learning really looks like.

5. Term 2 of 2020 will not dictate your child’s future. This is one moment in a very long educational journey. Studies have shown that children who missed a term of school, at any year level, were not academically compromised in the future. Remember families take a year off to travel, some children miss school for health reasons and others may be sitting in the classroom everyday but are not necessarily engaged in learning.

You are their parent, their family and their anchor in all of this uncertainty. Put this moment of learning differently into perspective

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