If you have questions about supporting your child to learn from home, call our advice phone line for parents on 1800 338 663.
How you can support your child
You can support your child by:
- having a routine and setting expectations
- making sure your child has a space to work in
- providing a level of supervision suitable to your child’s stage of development and individual needs
- monitoring communications from teachers
- checking in with your child often to help them manage and pace their work
- monitoring how much time your child is spending online.
Setting up a learning environment
Every home is different but it’s important to provide a quiet and comfortable space in which to learn.
Where possible, extended learning should take place in a space your family shares. For example, a lounge room or dining room. These spaces are preferable over a bedroom, where your child can feel isolated and supervision can be more challenging.
It should be a place:
- that can be quiet at times
- that has a strong internet signal, if possible
- where you or another adult is present as you would normally when your child is online, dependent on age.
Establishing routines and expectations
Start and end each day with a check-in to help your child:
- clarify and understand the instructions they get from their teachers
- help them organise themselves and set priorities for their learning at home.
A healthy daily routine is great for mental and physical health, as well as concentration and learning.
Encourage regular exercise breaks. This might mean going for a walk, using exercise DVDs and apps, dancing, floor exercises or using home exercise equipment.
Encourage healthy eating habits and make sure they drink enough water.
Communicating with your child
We encourage you to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. These check-ins can be a regular part of each day.
In the morning, ask:
- What are you learning today?
- What are your learning targets or goals?
- How will you be spending your time?
- What resources do you need?
- What support do you need?
In the afternoon, ask:
- What did you learn today?
- What was challenging? You could come up with a way to deal with the same problem if it comes up again.
- Consider three things that went well today. Why were they good?
- Are you ok? Do you need to ask your teacher for something? Do you need help with something to make tomorrow more successful?
These questions allow your child to:
- process the instructions they get from their teachers
- help them organise themselves and set priorities.
You could also check-in with your child throughout the day. This depends on your child’s needs.
Advice for parents of children with disability or additional needs
You know your child best. As parents and carers of children with disability and additional needs, you are already very skilled in understanding, supporting and caring for your child. Your child's school is developing learning programs for all learners, inclusive of the needs of your child. The learning activities provided will reflect their stage of learning and the goals of their Individual Education Plan (IEP), where appropriate.
Your child has a range of strengths and abilities that they bring to their learning. While some of the suggestions outlined above will be applicable to your child and home setting, greater support may be required some learning activities. Consider your child's needs, and discuss with the classroom teacher:
- when to undertake certain learning activities
- how long your child may be expected to spend on a task
- use of a timer on a phone or iPad, or the oven to help schedule appropriate amounts of time to spend on specific tasks
- use of charts to record progress against the day's learning activities.
Your child may use a range of equipment and technology (accessible software) at school that is necessary to their learning at home. The school will work provide access to appropriate equipment free of charge, and nominate a contact person at the school to assist with troubleshooting.
Routine and familiarity helps children and young people feel safe and secure. Some children find changes in routine very upsetting. If your child feels this way they will need your help to establish new routines to signpost their day. If you need further support you may wish to contact your child's school or a health practitioner.