Home learning – Planning for success!
Psychosocail support for chidlren during the COVID 19 pandemic
Learning from home can be a challenge, but it can be made fun! It also presents a valuable opportunity to develop your child’s ability to self-manage. We’re here to share a few tips to help you ease your child into home learning mode and guide their learning while they’re away from their normal school environment, rules and schedule - all while you balance your own work and responsibilities.
Create learning rituals and routines
Your child may need a prompt to switch into learning mode, like a school bell or a morning reading session before the first class. This is just like how you might start your working day with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Prepare a dedicated space for learning. Associate a room, a desk, or a corner with your child’s learning activities by keeping all of their learning materials in one place. Your child will start to associate this place with learning and will know it’s time to learn whenever she or he enters this space.
- Set timers on your phone. You should set timers to remind your child and yourself of online learning sessions or other planned activities. You could also ring an alarm two minutes before class begins so that your child has time to set up their learning space.
- Maintain a family routine. For example, parents and children can start working/learning at the same time. Your child might be excited to have a ‘job’ just like an adult, in her or his own space.
A proper plan will help your child organize her or his day. Have them think through what they plan to do.
- Be results oriented – start with a clear goal in mind. Guide your child to think about what they need to get done. Start by setting smaller and easily accomplished tasks, such as organizing their books, pens and notebooks. Guide the process, but ensure that your child drives the goal-setting to nurture a sense of ownership and an interest in learning.
- Break tasks down – develop specific, actionable plans. Guide your child to break down long term goals into practical short-term targets. For example, if their goal is to read 15 books per semester, she or he can plan to finish one book a week by reading for 10 minutes after dinner and 30 minutes before bedtime. By taking small steps every day, your child will progressively work towards their goals without adding stress. Make sure your child gets enough sleep, that time is left for family and fun, and that there is a buffer for flexibility (because things won’t always go to plan).
- Get visual – chart the progress. Post a progress chart on the wall to keep track of your child’s achievements. After finishing the day’s reading assignment, she or he can color in or use a sticker to mark their achievement, to help stay motivated along the journey.
Lead by example
Walk the talk. For example:
- Establishing a daily routine will not only help you stay productive while working from home, but also lead the way for your child.
- Set a family routine. The whole family might agree on a daily reading session, with each family member reading her or his own book at the same time of day.
- Progress charts can be used by other family members, to create an environment where everyone strives to achieve more.
Children will need guidance and practice to follow their home learning plan. Every family member can help turn the challenge of home learning into a fun and creative game! And remember, things won’t always go as planned, so don’t stress if the day doesn’t work out – tomorrow presents another opportunity!