Covid- 19 Remote Learning Q&A (adapted from a post on Social Media)
Many people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by this unprecedented change of circumstances and coping with children learning at home.
Few points to note first :
1) This is not homeschooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting the whole world. Let’s keep perspective. Homeschooling is a choice, where you considered, you plan for it and you are your child’s school teacher in whatever form you choose . This is at best distance learning.
2) You are, and always have been, your child’s primary educator. Whilst we encourage you to engage with home learning and teaching we in no way want to add to your stress, if it gets too much contact your child/ren’s teacher.
3) This is very new to schools too and many staff are learning with you. Please be patient and if in doubt please make contact with the school.
4) It will be a challenge to work from home and support your child’s home learning. Please prioritise and do what you need to do to minimise stress on everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
My school has sent home a pack of worksheets. Are we expected to do them all?
No. These packs were most probably prepared very quickly as there was little warning. Pick and choose the activities your child can manage independently and the ones that most interest them. Please contact your child’s school with any queries. They will be pleased to answer your questions.
There are so many links and advice out there, how do I know how to choose the right ones?
These are suggestions and ideas you can choose or not. There is a bombardment of information out there just now and if it is overwhelming, step away!
X in my child’s class has everything done and we’ve barely started. Will they fall behind?
Even if everything were equal in terms of support and time and number of children etc (which its not) everyone learns at different rates. In the class there’s a wide range of levels in all subjects, there’s different paces and there are many children working on differentiated level of work. Please try not to compare yourself to others!
I’m not doing any work with my Children. All they are doing is Lego, cooking and playing outside.
All of this is learning. Very valuable learning. Research tells us that when parents are actively in learning together with their children and young people they grow and develop well. Learning together can also be – playing board games, jigsaw puzzles, gardening, baking, helping with housework, reading stories and all of the things you enjoy doing together.
How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different children of different ages?
You can’t, stop trying. If they’re old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing, baking etc.
What is the bare minimum you’d expect?
We would be reluctant to set a time limit. Children vary! Young children cannot concentrate for extended periods and should not be expected to, much of their learning in school is done through play. They have many activity breaks during the day. For older primary children you are the best gauge. This should not cause undue stress or distress. Sometimes it is best to leave things until they are ready. Involve them in planning their day and negotiate some ground rules if this works for you.
What should we prioritise?
Exercise and good health (see Health and Wellbeing section for ideas)
Reading each day – you can use audio books too.
Some writing – a diary, a comic strip, story, letter or anything of their choosing.
Maths – practical maths such as baking or cooking, basic numeracy skills which can be done mentally or using a digital platform. There are many free ones out there.
Fine motor work – playdoh, Hama beads, knitting etc.
Be creative with art or music.
Some extra ideas
Research a topic of interest and collate information in a way they want, poster, power-point, book.
Write letters or draw pictures for people who are isolated.
A Final Note
You are doing enough. You are loving your children and supporting them through a very difficult time. Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health.
Encourage your children to stay in touch with friends – virtually. This will really help maintain relationships and good mental health. You should ensure you do this too.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school with any concerns or questions.
We will get through this!