Anywhere learning resource bank

Dear Whanau

Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like school holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behaviour issues with your kids. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally - it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.

Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this!

If we can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day…

(adapted from an online message but completely how we as Kaiako at Birchville feel)

What to do at home:

  1. Make it fun: If the learning is too hard or boring, it probably won’t be successful. Praise any attempts and ideas.

  2. Online learning: There are lots of fun apps and games which can support learning that we have added to the school home learning web page.

  3. Down Time: Remember there is no expectation that your child sits at home from 9am to 3pm “doing” school work. An hour or two a day is plenty with lots of brain breaks and movement activities built in.

  4. Where to set up: Children like to have a space that they can set up in but they are used to learning anywhere, lying on their tummies, standing at a counter. They will find it difficult to work alone in a room. They are used to noise and movement

  5. Routines: Children like routines and find things easier to cope with if they know what’s coming. Set up regular bedtimes, wake-up times and meal times as best you can.

  6. Catch them being good: Remember that children need lots of praise for doing the right thing. Do your best to ignore the negative behaviours and really praise the good behaviours. You will get more of what you pay attention to.

  7. Use your gardens: Learning can happen anywhere. Read under a tree. Use natural things to make outdoor art. Create treasure hunts

  8. We don’t expect you to be a teacher: Learn with, play with and enjoy time with your children. If a learning activity is creating tension rather stop it before there are tears.

  9. Use their interests: Children are far more willing to read about and learn about things they are interested in.

  10. Practise our GEMS