• Hannah

Tips for Parents as Canberra Returns to Face to Face Learning

Everyone has different feelings about the return to face-to-face learning.


As we exit nine weeks of home learning (eleven weeks away in total), we need to remember that it isn’t back to school as usual just because students are returning to face to face learning.


Your kids, just like us, will have a variety of reactions and emotions as we adjust to a COVID normal. Some will be excited, some will be scared, others may simply be confused. Many will take a while to adjust. Compassion, communication and well planned changes to routines will help.



Compassion


Face to face learning won’t be school as usual. Face-masks, vaccines and temperature checks will all form part of the new normal. There may also be changes to friendship groups from time apart or confusion over lessons not fully absorbed during home learning. These changes can impact on your students feeling of safety and security, and this may impact their ability to learn. So the most important thing you can do to help your student is be there for them to talk to about these feelings and experiences.


There will also be parts of school they enjoyed a break from, possibly including bullying or social problems. Feelings of confidence and self esteem may go either way as your student returns to navigating social norms and friendships. They may want nothing more than to spend all their time with friends after school, or they may need to recharge in peace as they have been for so many weeks. The key to being able to offer them compassion in a language they understand or need, will be communication.


TIP FOR PARENTS #1 Compassion looks different for everyone. Try to use encouraging words, show gratitude for their efforts and share a hug as often as possible. You can also offer to assist or motivate in ways that are unique to your family or your student.


Communication


Stay connected, check in, ask questions, remember that it is weird for all of us. Talk about your child’s day and how they are feeling. Let them know that there is no right or wrong way to feel. We all benefit from a safe space to express our feelings, and children in particular will need this as they transition back to face to face learning.


Using a scale to guide emotional communication can reduce the vocabulary needed to articulate needs. Simply asking your child to scale how they’re feeling from 1-10 will not only assist you in understanding your child, but will also encourage mindful behaviours. If you’d like to further this approach, try encouraging your child to journal the scale throughout the day so they can have a view of how their mood changes and what might be the reason.


TIP FOR PARENTS #2 Consider trying a 1-10 scale of ‘How was your day’ - 1 being the worst, 10 being the best. This simple system is a great starting point and gives you a great indicator of what your child might need after school without them having to be able to explain it in the moment.


Routine


Some of what they’ve adopted at home might be worth keeping, so don’t rush into old routines immediately. Discuss them with your student. Are there lockdown routines they wish to keep or ones they are keen to farewell? Some students may want to keep the space they have been home learning in, especially if they got a new desk or new technology to assist. They may even enjoy some variation of the more peaceful elements of being at home so much, even while they look forward to getting out and seeing their friends. Wherever possible holding on to some of these newly established routines will help create a feeling of stability during this transition period. There will also be practical changes necessary as they transition back to attending school every day, wearing school uniform again and packing lunches. These changes will bring changes to wake up time, breakfast time, bed time and maybe even daily chores. Starting early with small changes can help, so can open communications with your student about what you expect and what they need.


TIP FOR PARENTS #3 Morning routines start with evening routines! If you have been running a different routine, or no routine at all, consider starting your return to school with changes to your dinner routine, then bedtime and wake up time a few days before school begins.


For more help transitioning back to face to face learning


We are available 7 days a week. Our experienced tutors are going through the same experience and can relate. We can help your students transition back with practical strategies and tutoring to get your child back up to speed in classes as required.


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