Over the coming weeks, things will look different from what we are used to. Teachers are working to find different ways to connect with students, and to help students connect with each other.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while helping your child to engage in learning at home:
- Your child’s teacher(s) will be connecting with you and/or your child with learning opportunities. Work with the teacher to understand your appropriate level of involvement.
- Help your child organize, prioritize and schedule tasks, assignments, etc.
- Help your child stay connected to the teacher on a regular basis; communicate directly with teachers as needed via email or phone calls
- Encourage your child to seek your assistance when needed.
- The elementary learning years (Grades 1-8) are social times for your child. Consider creating opportunities for them to socialize remotely.
When you talk together as a family about scheduling learning at home, consider:
- When someone might be available to support the learning, if necessary
- When your child is most ready for learning (e.g., after lunch, early in the morning or in the afternoon…etc.)
- Keeping focused learning times short
- Planning for physical movement breaks across the day.
Learning from Home
Your child learns from you in many ways (e.g., helping cook lunch, with chores around the house, or even talking about a favourite TV show). Teachers will continue to provide suggestions for at-home learning, knowing that parent/caregiver involvement will depend on the age and ability of the child and the time that parents/caregivers are able to give. Every family will determine what works best for them in discussion with their children’s teachers. Consider the suggested opportunities, and use what you can — don’t worry that your child is “missing out” if you don’t have time to complete all the suggested tasks.
A regular schedule helps maintain a sense of normalcy and stability.
We realize that all families are unique, and you know best what schedule will work for you and your family. Many families tell us that developing a consistent routine can be helpful. However, routines need to be flexible, because many things can change – especially at this time. Children respond well when they know the sequence of key events in their day. As a family, consider setting up a weekday schedule including:
- regular bedtime, wake-up and meal times
- getting dressed and ready for school (even though they’re at home)
- time for learning
- time for breaks
- daily physical activity
- daily communication with friends and family
- space to work
As teachers work to establish new learning opportunities, we encourage you to work together as a family to think about when the best times to engage in at-home learning might be (and the equitable sharing of technology and devices, if necessary). This week, you can expect to receive a menu of possible at-home learning suggestions from your child’s teacher. We are aware that families can commit to different amounts of time and support for learning at home. Take some time this week to talk with your child/children and see what might work best for your family.
Helping your Child
How much involvement you have will depend on your child’s age and needs. Following are suggestions designed for specific age and grade levels. General suggestions for children of all ages include:
- Let your child see you’re interested in what they’re doing and be positive and cheerful in your approach.
- Encourage positive communication with the teacher (to give and accept instructions).
- Encourage the development of good work habits and help your child take pride in work well done.
- Be patient with your child and yourself. This is a new experience for everyone and will take some time to adjust to. The most important thing is for your child to feel safe, loved and supported.
- Find time to talk to your child about their learning – it will help them deepen their understanding.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while helping your child become an independent learner:
Primary and Junior Years
- Your child’s ability to attend to a learning task will be influenced by their age and interest child’s level of interest in the task, their age and how they’re feeling (hungry, tired, worried, etc). This is completely normal. If you and your child are able to engage in some sort of focused activity like this once or twice a day, that is great!
- At other times in the day, your child may be selecting their own activity – and learning is still happening!
- Maintain an open line of communication with your child’s teacher.
- Help your child organize, prioritize and schedule coursework, assignments, etc.
- Divide the learning into 30 minute blocks spread throughout the day.
- Maintain an open line of communication between your child and their teachers.
- Encourage your child to seek your assistance when needed