Learning Space for your child

Published Sun 12 Apr 2020

With the school holidays in Victoria “officially” coming to a close on the 14th April , it will only be a matter of time until the new term begins, and despite the Victorian Government advising schools will be reopening in some capacity, remote online learning will become the new normal for families.   To assist parents with navigating these unchartered waters here are some tips to make sure that you and your child is prepared and ready to learn in their new home classroom.

Learning Space for your child Set up a learning space
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity, now is the time to establish a specific area in the home that works for your child where they can fully concentrate on learning.  This could be in a shared space or a desk in their own room.  Aim to limit distractions by ensuring that the television is switched off and non - required technology is out of reach. Select a suitable table and a supportive and comfortable chair for them to work from. You want to make sure that the kids don’t gravitate towards doing their homework slouched on a laptop on the couch!

Decluttering the desk and having key supplies within arm’s reach of the workspace is the key to efficiency.  Use nifty containers to store all items neatly in their place. To easily differentiate between your child’s subjects, use coloured and labelled folders, for example blue for English and red for maths. That way there will be no hunting around the house for supplies or rummaging around in schoolbags to look for items.

Create Good Habits
Most schools have an established timetable during the week, so rather than changing your child’s schedule you may want to follow the plan as outlined by the teacher. Your child can still manage their homework schedule by allocating a certain amount of time for each subject, so they get used to sticking to a timeframe. Using an oven/kitchen timer or investing in a Time Timer https://www.timetimer.com/ is a great tool (clock) that allows students to easily set a time for a task and check how much time they have remaining. This is a great tool that can be used once school goes back for homework, chores or playtime.

Think about the technology you’ll need
Check with your school or classroom teacher which programs that you will be required to use to access the schoolwork that they will send. You may require Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free to download) or a certain video player such as Adobe Flash Player. If they are using Google Classrooms or online education programs do you have your child’s log in details. Depending on how the teachers are looking to deliver lessons, you may need to download programs such as Zoom or Skype. These teleconferencing programs are free, but make sure that you download them from the official developers, or else you risk exposing your computer to malware. Make sure you also check the privacy and user settings for these programs. Family Zone Cyber Safety have great tips for using these programs while keeping your kids safe.

Have Fun
Remember the school day is filled with playtime and creativity. Go and play in the backyard or if you have older kids go for a walk, bake some cookies or cook a meal together.  Give your kids (and yourself) plenty of breaks and use this time to connect and have fun.

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