Supporting Learning at Home

Supporting learning at home

In the context of the school closure, we are all trying to adapt to new ways of learning and working. Doing school work at home is different to doing it in lessons at school.  It is different for teachers too. We cannot expect learning at home to be the same as learning at school and we understand that this makes some students and parents anxious. We all need to remember that this period of home-learning is not forever and is not expected to replicate what school would be like.

Meantime, here are some useful tips for students and parents / carers, to help you adapt. Some of these tips may help you and some may not. Everyone is finding the way that works for them.  

1. Planning and structuring your day

  • Try to have a balanced, healthy structure for your day.
  • Keep regular times for going to bed and waking up. In the mornings, having a healthy breakfast and getting washed and dressed will help you get in the right frame of mind for learning.
  • Follow your usual school timetable, logging into each lesson.
  • Put your camera on when you are live in the lesson so that you, your peers and your teacher can cannot better.
  • Some of your lessons will ask you to step away from the screen, move about and / or work independently. It’s important not to stare at the screen all day.
  • If possible, find a comfortable, distraction-free space in your home where you can work, ideally at a table, so that you can work with good posture.
  • Take short rest and movement breaks.
  • Helping at home is a good break from academic work and develops your life skills. Learning how to use household appliances, preparing and cooking food and keeping the home clean are all useful ways to learn and help.  Your parents and carers will appreciate your help while everyone has to stay at home.
  • Consider having break or lunch together as a family, especially if your parents / carers are trying to work from home.  This will help you to connect with each other and then allow working time to be calm and quiet. 
  • Consider setting up a system of rewarding yourself for working hard with activities that you want to do. It will help to put phones and social media aside while doing school work, then perhaps reward yourself with time connecting with others online.

2. Completing school work

  • Remember that the school work being set is to help to keep your mind active and help you keep learning.  It is not the same as being at school and the way you are working will feel different. Don’t worry about doing all the work at once, or if it seems like there is too much or too little at once.  Just do one activity at a time. It is not meant to be the same as a day at school.
  • Carefully read and re-read instructions to make sure you have fully understood the task. You could make a note of the  steps you will need to take to complete the activity. You can also ask your teachers and classmates questions on Google Classroom using the comments section.  You are not alone and it’s all right if you don’t understand straight away.
  • You might be learning new information and this might include new vocabulary. Take time to understand and look up these new words. There are dictionaries online you can use. You could use also mindmaps, draw pictures or make notes to help learn and remember. 
  • To help with organisation, especially if you haven’t got all your books with you, create specific folders where you will save your work for the different subjects on your Google Drive. If you are working on paper then have a system of keeping these in one place and safe. 
  • Try to keep to the time limits or lengths of work that teachers provide. If you need more time, ask your teacher. 
  • Deadlines:  please don’t worry if the deadlines are not achievable for you.  Some deadlines have been set a goal for students to work towards however, if this is overwhelming or feels like too much pressure, communicate with your teacher via Classroom.
  • Feedback from teachers: in this new way of working and learning, you won’t get feedback straight away. Remember your teachers are also working at home and, while they also balance family life and domestic arrangements with their work, they cannot respond the way they would in normal school time.

3. Resources

We are aware that you and your parents / carers may be receiving lots of different resources to support learning from home.  Please don’t feel you need to look at or use all of these. It can be overwhelming! Different things work for different students and their families.  Learning and working at home is not the same as school and never will be. So we all have to find the way that works for us. Pick the ones that help you the best.

Here are three that we feel could help you: