Learning from home information for parents

This page provides advice, tips and resources to help parents and carers support their child’s continuity of learning from home.

Victorian primary and secondary school holidays started on Tuesday 24 March. Tuesday 24 March – Friday 27 March are pupil-free days, to allow teachers and education support staff time to plan for and prepare resources for learning from home.

For the period Tuesday 24 – Friday 27 March, out of school hours care (OSHC) programs are available during school hours, in addition to before- and after-hours programs as required.

For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Victorian Government website 

We’ll continue to update this page in the coming weeks, to assist in preparation for the commencement of term 2.

About learning from home 

To provide learning continuity for your child, it’s important they have as much routine and certainty as possible. Schools and early childhood services play a large role in your child’s routine. To support learning at home, you’re not required to be a subject matter expert or educator. Your role is to partner with your child’s school or early childhood service to support your child’s home learning.

Your child’s school or early childhood service will:

  • communicate with you and your child on teacher responsibilities and what students and parents need to do
  • communicate with you and provide learning activities for your child to do at home
  • use their normal communication tools such as the school or early childhood service website, newsletters, emails and other online tools.

Schools and early childhood services will consider whether families have access to technologies at home. For example, a device and internet connection. They’ll advise what online tools your child can use for home learning.

If you do not have a device or internet at home, contact your school or early childhood service to discuss how your child will receive materials.

How to support your child

You can provide support for your child by:

  • establishing routines and expectations
  • providing a space for your child to work in
  • providing a level of supervision appropriate to your child’s stage of development
  • 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.

Student responsibilities during remote learning

You should adjust these responsibilities according to the age and stage of your child.

Student responsibilities include:

  • monitoring digital platforms and communication often to check for announcements and feedback from teachers
  • completing tasks with integrity and academic honesty and doing their best work
  • doing their best to meet timelines, commitments and due dates
  • communicating proactively with their teachers
  • collaborating and supporting their classmates in their learning
  • abiding by their school’s behaviour guidelines.

Setting up a learning environment

We recognise that every home is different. Where possible, it’s important to provide 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 an extended period of time. For some families, having all children around one table may work best.

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:

  • it can be isolating for your child
  • 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 and monitoring your children’s learning.

Establishing routines and expectations

  • Start and end each day with a check-in.
  • Encourage regular exercise breaks. Options could include exercise DVDs, apps, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the garden or using home exercise equipment. For example, a stationary bicycle, basketball hoop, or other sporting equipment.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits and drinking enough water.
  • Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children. Expect the same from your older primary and high school aged children too.

It’s important that you set these kinds of expectations as soon as learning from home begins, rather than several days later if you notice a child is struggling without a routine.

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 strategy 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?

Regular check-ins throughout the day may also be appropriate. This depends on your child’s needs.

These questions allow your child to:

  • process the instructions they get from their teachers
  • help them organise themselves and set priorities.

Advice for parents of children with additional needs

Literacy and numeracy resources and tips

In addition to the resources and materials that your school or early childhood service may provide, you could use the following resources:

Get parents involved with literacy

Get parents involved with literacy includes programs and supports, including the ‘Literacy and numeracy tips to help your child’ booklet. This booklet gives advice to parents with children from birth to year 6 about supporting their child’s literary and numeracy learning.

Premiers’ Reading Challenge

The 2020 Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and provides a great incentive to spend more time reading.

Ask your child’s teacher if their school or early childhood service is taking part in the 2020 Challenge. 

Participating schools will register your child and give you a username and password.

Participating early childhood services will register your child, and all you need to do is start reading with your child every day.

If your child’s school or early childhood service is not taking part, your child can still take part. See:

More information on how to take part in the Challenge is available at: School student and parents: taking part in the Challenge

Mathematics and numeracy at home

Mathematics and numeracy at home provides links to a range of advice and resources for families.

Managing screen time and online safety

It’s important you keep a balanced approach to home learning. Time spent using digital devices for learning should be broken up with physical exercise and offline learning tasks often.

For children under six years old, it’s recommended that a couple of 30 minutes sessions per day involve screens. For students over six, hourly exercise breaks are suggested.

It’s also important that during this period of remote learning we maintain safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies. This includes:

  • the appropriate use of digital platforms, privacy and information protection
  • respectful online communication.

Resources for educators (COVID-19)

Find advice for early childhood services and schools on learning at home during disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19):