In preparing the children for home learning, we have emphasised the need for routines and and a separation of 'school' and 'home.' We have seen some lovely photos of children in their school uniform happily engaged in their tasks. This makes it easier for the children to maintain good learning skills. We are planning ways to keep key school routines part of children's experience so please make it a priority for them to participate in virtual assemblies, celebrations of learning, sharing news for the weekly Newsletter.
Parent responsibilities during remote learning
Provide support for your children by:
• establishing routines and expectations
• defining a space for your child to work in
• monitoring communications from teachers – keep in touch
• taking an active role in helping your children process their learning
• encouraging physical activity and/or exercise
• checking in with your child regularly to help them manage stress
• monitoring how much time your child is spending online
• keeping your children social but setting rules around their social media interactions.
• seeking out and communicating with school staff as different needs arise
Establishing routines and expectations
From the first day you will need to establish routines and expectations. This will include regular breaks for activity, eating and drinking. In the activity breaks, it is important that students get up and move around.
Please use the activities provided by school to set regular hours for schoolwork. Keep normal bedtime routines and try to maintain the usual routine for any older siblings who live in the same house.
It is important that you set these expectations as soon as distance learning is implemented, not several days later after it becomes apparent a child is struggling with the absence of routine.
Setting up a learning environment
Try to create a quiet and comfortable learning space. Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may not be suitable for working in for an extended period of time.
A space/location for extended learning should be a public/family space, not in a bedroom. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and have a strong wireless internet signal, if possible.
Go outside in the garden as much as you can, whatever the weather.
Above all, it should be a space where you or another adult is present and monitoring your children's learning. Relax, if it all gets too much curl up on the sofa and read a story together.
How to support your child with kind and specific feedback
Giving constructive feedback can be a bit difficult because you don’t want your child to feel like you’re putting them down, nor do you want to risk them losing their drive towards a task. Despite this, both positive and constructive feedback is essential in supporting your child's educational development. Consider these tips when providing your child with feedback:
- Start with the positives: When you first sit down with your child, focus on positive qualities or skills your child has displayed. Make sure your child feels like they are being respected first before addressing areas of improvement.
- Be specific: Your child cannot improve everything in one go so it is very important to focus on one or two areas of a piece of work that can be improved.
- Provide examples: Use concrete examples so your child understands what you are describing. Point specifically to areas that need improving or model what you mean.
- Be sensitive to your child’s needs: Make sure your conversation is a dialogue. Throughout the conversation, ask your child what they think. Ultimately you want to create a progressive conversation, so allowing your child to communicate back to you is essential.
- Set goals: Take time at the end of your conversation to create a roadmap for growth. If your child needs to work on multiplication for example, set weekly goals to practice the times tables to increase speed. Little milestones are much more understandable for your child and will make improving on the specific points of feedback easier.
- Check back in with your child: As your child works on implementing the feedback, be sure to maintain an open dialogue and monitor their level of improvement. Remind children of where they started and where they have ended up so they can see the progress they have made for themselves.
The ability to accept criticism gracefully is a part of growing up. While it may be difficult for them to initially process feedback, make it known that you are there for them and willing to help in any way. Show your child that they have support in the home and the potential to succeed. The video below shows a fantastic example of how carefully directed feedback can support children's development. It's a great one to share with your child too!