How can you support your child’s schooling from home?

So many parents are worried to some extent about their children falling behind at school due to the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns over the past few months. With another nationwide closure of public schools until late August at least, we’re not surprised! An already packed school curriculum doesn’t really leave room for a week’s worth of flu, never mind months of interruption due to a global pandemic. And with most parents back at work either remotely or at the office, the risk of your child falling even further behind is very real.

The bad news? There’s not a lot you can do to speed up the course of the pandemic.

The good news? There is A LOT that you can do to support your child during this time!


How do I support my child if I’m not sure how to support myself?

We totally get it – the uncertainty and novelty of this situation has most of us reaching for our favourite self-care routine (which is a good thing, by the way!) Parenting isn’t easy under the best of circumstances, and it can be difficult to know how to support your child through such an unprecedented circumstance. 

It’s important to remember that these are not normal times, and normal expectations that you have of yourself, your children and their education may be suspended. That said, kids dislike uncertainty even more than adults, and so any certainty that you can give them will help settle their anxiety. This can include making plans to go for a walk in nature on the weekend, setting up a schoolwork goal for the day, or getting your children involved in planning dinner for this evening. 

Another way that you can support both yourself and your child is to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine


Is your happy-go-lucky child now anxious and withdrawn?

It might have been a real shock to you if your sunshine-child is now sulky, moody and prone to emotional outbursts. However, in this situation – we all are! The best way to support your child is to help them create new habits to help them adjust to online learning. You can also choose to reward bravery: if your child is too worried about COVID to be in a public place, encourage smaller acts of bravery, like taking a walk down the street with them, and build their confidence in this way. If these symptoms last for more than a few days, or are interrupting your child’s eating or sleeping patterns, it might be necessary to see an online child psychologist to ensure that nothing more serious is going on. 


Feel bad that you don’t have the time to dedicate to my child’s schooling at home?

…or have the content knowledge, patience or space! But who does?

With all the stress that your whole family is under, falling behind at school is one more addition to a long list of things to worry about. It’s okay to not be able to spend 4-6 hours on your child’s education in between your own 9-5 job! However, if your child is too young or too easily distracted to benefit from online tutoring to help them keep on top of their schoolwork, it might be time to get some help. We’re talking about a dedicated, experienced tutor who can come in 3-5 times a week, tackle and keep on top of your child’s schoolwork, help them with homework and problem areas, as well as supervise them during study breaks. 


Will things ever go back to normal?

Your child might want to know when they can stop wearing a mask, start playing with their friends, or having fun family outings that you used to have. It’s really important to be optimistic with your children, especially by modelling this behaviour yourself. While we don’t know when things will return to normal, or if they ever will, you can help your child adapt to a new normal by making it fun, exciting, and not at all scary. 


What if my child is struggling to follow a curriculum at home?

This is very understandable: as much as kids like routine, they enjoy the structured environment of a classroom which gives them clear expectations. Especially in the first few months at home, they may miss this and struggle to adjust. A good way to build this in is to do a fun, structured course, such as a language Boot Camp, or our Little Sparkz program for very young learners. This will help reinforce the fact that learning is fun!


Learning support isn’t a “one size fits all”, just like your child’s needs may be different from their friends’ or sibling’s needs. You know your child the best – and with almost 14 years in the field, we know learning support the best! This is why we have the experience and knowledge to help you find the perfect solution for both your child, and yourself.


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Self-care & time management: How to unwind after a busy and chaotic year

2020 has been a crazy rollercoaster of a year, with many ups and downs, pivots and changes. Our “new normal” has meant a lot of adjustments for all of us – especially for parents and their children. With an interrupted school year and new expectations for academic performance, children and parents alike have faced increased stress levels and anxiety. In this blog, we’ll look at practical ways for parents and their children to unwind after a busy year, focusing on time management and self-care. 

1. Manage your time better

One of the side effects of 2020 has been a total time warp (can you believe it’s almost Christmas?!) This is true in workplaces, where the pressure is on to tie up all projects and loose strings before closing, as well as in schools. With so much pressure, it’s more important than ever to manage your time effectively. Here are some great ways to do that:

    • Time-block: Set aside blocks of time to work on big projects, or to study, to prevent being interrupted by a whole lot of smaller, nonessential tasks.
    • Prioritize: Identify what is Urgent, what is Important, and what is both Urgent and Important. Do the latter first. Anything that doesn’t make it onto any of these lists can be set aside for the time being.
    • Top 3: Using the lists you’ve created, identify 3 things that need to get done TODAY. A long to-do list can be the enemy of productivity!
    • Timing: Determine when you’re most productive. Are you a morning person, or a night-owl? Tackle your most important and difficult tasks at this time.
    • Break it up: Split large tasks, like studying for an exam or a big project, into smaller, more manageable tasks: study 1 chapter, or do one part of the project. The boost of confidence when you finish this task will help you keep on track for the next one.
    • Limit distractions: We all know this one. Avoid your phone, social media, and even emails when you have a big deadline ahead of you.
    • Schedule “me time”: We’ll go into all the benefits of self care in the next section, but make sure that you add some “me time” into your calendar!

2. Engage in self-care

Along with managing your time better, you also need to ensure that you don’t burn out. The best way to do this is to regularly schedule “me time” or time for self-care (and to actually do it!). Self-care differs from person to person, but it’s a really important way to recharge and give yourself the mental and physical energy to tackle your days. Pick a few self-care activities from the following list, or think up your own, and make time for at least one of them on a daily basis:

    • Exercise: Doing your favourite exercise (or just going for a walk around the block) will increase endorphins and allow you to better cope with stress.
    • Connect with a friend: Socializing is an important facet of self care, especially in a time where socialization has been limited. Connect with a friend virtually or over a socially-distanced coffee, or arrange a safe activity for children who haven’t seen their friends for months.
    • Eat a balanced diet: Food impacts your health, your mind and your mood. Make sure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need with a balanced diet.
    • Be your own best friend: What would your best friend tell you to do, to help you relax and take care of yourself? Treat yourself the way that your best friend would, and ignore any misplaced feelings of guilt for taking an hour or a night off. 
    • Read a book: Reading allows us to be transported to another world for a short time. This is an excellent form of self care. If reading isn’t your thing, try an audiobook or podcast. 
    • Meditate: Meditation and mindfulness have increased in popularity since the start of COVID, and for good reasons: these help you to stay present, stay grateful, and better cope with your emotions.
    • Engage in hobbies: Take some time to engage in your favourite hobbies if they’re safe, or find new ones if they’re not. Improving upon or learning a new skill while doing something that you enjoy is excellent self care. 
    • Spend time with pets: There’s a reason that animals are used in therapy! Spending time with animals can help ground you, as well as releasing oxytocin and other happy chemicals. 
    • Do something fun: Fun activities help to reduce stress and allow you to handle anxiety better. Why not learn a new language with us? 

If you’re struggling to find the time for self care because of the academic workload on your shoulders as a parent or a student, it’s a good idea to get a tutor. A tutor can help relieve the pressure on you, by providing focused and specific individual attention, to tackle problems quickly and effectively, so that you don’t have to do it alone.


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