Guidance for Parents: Home-schooling

This is a trying time for us all, as we try to contain the spread of the Corona Virus as a community. For parents especially, it is a challenge to offer our children a sense of normalcy in these exceptional circumstances. One of the ways we can do this, is to ensure that they continue with their school work and the consolidation of learning that the school has provided in the work packs for the following weeks.

While we have closed the school to our students, our administrative and teaching staff are still working while taking every precaution to stay healthy. Our student support services have put together a few links with ideas as to how best help your children keep up with their academic work.

You can find the links below. Some of the most important tips we have distilled from our reading as follows:

Create a “Classroom” – Students need a neat, calm space with a desk and chair in order to work efficiently. A designated space helps students comprehend that now is “school time”. Some even recommend going out for a walk around the block just before sitting down to work as it gives one the feeling of having “gone to school”. There is an actual break between the morning routine and the commencement of work. For older students it is important to ensure that they are not distracted by their phones or other media.

Set Goals – Having a clear end point helps students tackle their work. This varies depending on the age of the child but it is beneficial if they are also involved in setting these goals with their parents. Making a time table can help in this respect. Some parents will be working from home as well and it might make sense to divide the day into bite sizes that allow parents time to work and give students some sense of how the day will progress. Making sure that there is variety in tasks e.g. between digital and analogue mediums, between sciences and language subjects helps keep children focused.

Individualise – Our children have the opportunity now to really spend time on areas they are particularly passionate about. Perhaps they want learn to cook or build a hut in the garden or learn to programme their own website. This is an ideal time to give them the space and time to do so. Similarly, when creating the timetable or learning plan, be sure to keep in mind how best your child learns, whether through reading or visual mediums.

Take Breaks – Our students have regular breaks between lessons at school and the same should be true of their learning experience at home. Taking a 10 minute break while trying to get through a tricky mathematics task can work wonders. This applies to parents as well as children. Facilitating the learning of your own child can be trying. Taking breaks and giving them space to tackle things themselves can help keep everyone calm.

Spend Time Outside – This is especially challenging with smaller children now as playgrounds are off limits. Leipzig offers wonderful bike paths and has numerous green spaces for movement and exercise.

End of Day – Give the end of the school day a clear signal. One of our articles suggests having a wrap up meeting. Especially if you have more than one learner at home, getting them together to discuss their learning can be beneficial for all as well as give you as a parent a chance to see what goals you might set with them the next day.

Ask for Help – our wonderful Parent Association has already sent out a heartfelt letter of support to all the parents and many new LIS families have since signed up to use Classlist. Many parents have already posted resources that have helped them so far and have reached out for support from other parents. In this time of isolation it is important to still feel connected. Our staff are available to help where ever we can so be sure to reach out if you feel the need.

Lastly, this is an opportunity for families to enjoy their time together despite the many trying aspects of daily life. We hope we can all come back from this experience stronger and look forward to seeing you all at school once it is declared safe. Stay home, stay healthy and stay positive!

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