29 Ways to Reduce the Stresses of Home Learning
As we all work on adapting to the process of home learning, we have collected some advice that may help you (or someone you may know) feel more confident and comfortable with implementing home learning. All advice in this blog has been collected from parents, teachers and online resources. Even if you are already aware of these points, feel free to share this with someone who may need some inspiration.
1. Stick to a Routine: Create a schedule for your child in advance! Make sure your routines take into account playtime, relaxing time, lunch and dinner and bedtime!
2. Make Time for Exercise: Regular exercise can provide your child with muscle strength, improved flexibility, more energy, and better concentration!
3. Encouraging Play: Keep your children occupied through playtime. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
4 Keeping A Balanced Diet: A balanced diet ensures your child is getting the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for healthy growth, cognitive development, a healthy immune system and energy, which is important for getting through this challenging time!
5. Study Space: Creating a clean, organised and spacious study space will help your child keep focused, dedicated and away from distractions. Here they can also keep track of their resources, homework and notes.
6. Learning Resources: Make sure your child has enough pens, paper, notebooks, pencils and their books to avoid any last-minute finding missions before their online learning starts!
7. Technology: As a lot of us are working from home, be aware of slower loading times than normal! Restart the computer/laptop in advance and check if you need to install any updates, open the meeting links a few minutes beforehand and make sure everything is charged up and ready to use!
8. Back-Up Plans: If you are able to find the meeting link on your mobile or someone has a laptop they are not currently using, have these at the ready to avoid annoying tech stress such as the laptop unexpectedly shutting down or connection issues!
9. Stay on ahead of the plans: It is easier than it sounds, but stay on top of scenarios or events that are likely to happen! Planning for events and possible outcomes in advance will put your mind at ease!
10. Sleep: Ensure you and your child/children get enough sleep! Wind down a few hours before bedtime and make use of the time in the day for exercise and activities to get a good night’s sleep. Good practice for this includes avoiding technology at least an hour before bedtime and avoid caffeine after 3 pm.
11. Family Time: Make use of your family around you. Have honest conversations about your feelings, spend time in the day for family dinners and take this time to understand each other. Stress can be cut down a huge amount by sharing your thoughts and concerns with people who are willing to help.
12. Friends: Both yourself and your child would benefit from having a quick catch-up with a friend! Spend time on video meetings apps such as Google Meets, Microsoft Teams or FaceTime for a quick laugh, virtual games and more!
13. Change the Environment: Changing small things in the environment shows to have positive effects on our moods. Use the 5 senses to help such as colourful flowers, aroma sticks, a new picture (which could include an art piece from your child) or a new cuddly toy!
14. Be Kind to Yourself: We are in a situation that has caused a lot of uncertainty and changes. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to accept some things may not go to plan, but there is always a positive solution at the end.
15. Set Boundaries: Juggling home learning and working from home is difficult. Take your days off seriously, stick to a dedicated schedule and workspace, be proactive by communicating to everyone at home you will be busy for a few hours. Ask family members to help you out with the little ones during these times if they can.
16. Ask the Teacher Questions: A lot of parents have seen the curriculum and methodologies change since their time at school! Note down any questions and don’t be afraid to ask! Send an email, schedule a quick catch-up with teachers, you will be able to have a lot more clarity in this way.
17. Complete Homework Early: If you are lucky enough to know when the homework days are for your child, get them to complete it as soon as possible! Being ahead of the deadline avoids any last-minute rush to get it done. If you aren’t sure, ask them at the end of their day and get them to keep note. Using a checklist or a mini diary will keep them organised with their deadlines!
18. Balance virtual learning and time outside: It is important to find a balance of staying indoors for home learning and getting some fresh air.
19.Be aware of potential triggers: Spending time at home will cause a lot of stress for everyone. Understand any triggers to avoid unnecessary arguments, tantrums or withdrawals.
20. Be Understanding: Your child may be “acting up” for many different reasons. Adults are finding this change overwhelming, take a second to think about how your child may be feeling. A change in routine can cause confusion and uncertainty, especially for younger children. Talk to them as much as you can and reassure them everything will turn out to be okay.
21. Ask for Help: Searching online for learning materials, tutors, advice and more is not a bad thing! There are plenty of resources and professionals out there, reaching out will lift a huge weight off your shoulders.
22. Make Weekends exciting: After 5 days of intense home learning, the weekends should still be time for fun and a break from learning!
23. Extra-Curricular: If your child was involved with an extra-curricular activity at school, can this be found in an online class? Dance, music, learning an instrument and more are available online, now is also a great chance to pick up a new hobby!
24. Family Night: Dedicate a night in the week/ month for a family game night! Tell everyone in advance to keep their schedules free and plan your favourite board games, movies and dinner to look forward to!
25. Mental Wellbeing: Your mental health and your child’s mental health matters. If communicating is something you feel isn’t working for you and your family, try mindfulness meditation, yoga, being active outside for a bit, or speaking to a professional mental health advisor. There are people who care about you, please reach out to someone you love or a professional (if you want to stay anonymous) if you feel you are alone.
26. Experiential Learning: Home learning doesn’t have to only be online learning! Take Science to the garden, teach your children some cool recipes, get hands-on with learning to make lessons more engaging!
27. Make a to-do list: Sometimes you may feel it is hard to sleep as there is so much to get done in the next few days. Write it out! Using a diary, memos or post-it notes helps put your thoughts somewhere else and clears up your mind!
28. Talk!: Talking to your child about their feelings, thoughts, lessons etc not only helps them to understand what is happening or what they learnt but is also a great way for you to bond and maintain a healthy relationship with your child. It may be something small, but having your child come to you with any issues or worries is the goal.
29. Reward yourself: Whilst your child is completing any online learning or homework, make sure you are spending time on yourself too! Parents deserve so much praise for the love and support they are providing to their families. You are doing a great job, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
These ideas and points in this list can be used in a way that suits you and your family best. Remember, there is no “one size fits all” approach and each day can be different from the last. A change in routine may be difficult for some and easier for others to implement at home. If you need further advice please don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you are looking for Maths, English, Science and 11+ resources for your child, get in touch! We have online tutors to help address any misconceptions and to boost confidence at a pace comfortable for your child to progress in. Get in touch today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting our website.