Remote learning…AGAIN….

By Psychologist, Emily Coen

Home learning- here we are AGAIN! We have had to engage in homeschooling on and off for over a year now, and let’s face it we are all just a little bit over it. Below are some helpful tips to try and make this experience just a little easier for you right now.

1. Schedule

Plan your day! It is much harder to start work when you have a big pile of things to do, and no idea where to start. Just like at school, separate each subject into planned time. If you do not get through all the tasks in that allocated slot- that’s ok!

2. Quality over quantity!

When sitting down to do work, we know that children (and adults/ psychologists writing this blog) can procrastinate and put things off. The number of hours sitting and doing work does not always reflect learning skills. 

When it is time for your child to complete their school tasks, engage in short periods of quality work time and include break time so they can switch off, before re-engaging again. Again, if you don’t get through all of the work, that’s ok! You can always come back to it later.

3. Breaks

Children need movement breaks and learning breaks to help them reset and focus. Just as we have breaks during a regular school day, these are as important at home. As lockdowns drag on we notice children being less diligent with this and staying cooped up in their rooms more. Make sure to include movement breaks into your schedule.

4. Rewards

Having to engage in the bulk of our learning in the home environment is HARD. Set up a reward system for you child to motivate them throughout the week. Rewards can include ‘student of the week’ and other certificates, getting to choose the meal for family take away night, finishing ‘school’ early for the day or a special treat.

For some children, they may need reward for a particular target behaviour or skill. For example, if they can apply the teacher’s feedback before the end of the school day they will get a reward.

5. Balance

With the unpredictability of 2021, life can be stressful and overwhelming. Whilst we may have been given a mountain of remote learning tasks, it is so important to include self care and down time into your day. Just as we schedule ‘school work’ into our days, we really need to be scheduling downtime, to relax, socialise and engage in physical activity. Your children will also be less likely to avoid their school work, when given enough downtime to balance out their day. 

You are only one person, and chances are, you’re working from home yourself. Have some realistic expectations of what you can practically achieve for the day, whilst maintaining your sanity!

Emily is a registered psychologist with a Master of Professional Psychology. Emily has experience working with children, adolescents and their families across home, clinic, and educational settings. Emily has a special interest in working with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disorders, anxiety, behaviour management, and emotion regulation difficulties. Emily is passionate about working with children and their families in a flexible and creative manner, to best support their goals. Previously, Emily has worked as an ABA therapist and supervisor, allowing her to develop strong relationships with children and their support networks.
Emily works predominantly within the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy frameworks. Emily is an accredited Tuning into Kids facilitator and Cool Kids Anxiety Program facilitator. 
Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, playing netball, and cheering on the Geelong Cats.

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