20 February 2020

Supporting your Elementary Child with Home Learning

Published by Stamford American School Hong Kong
Renovation-and-refit-projects

The links between student, school and parent or guardian are vital for student success. At Stamford, we are proud of how strongly they are forged – and the contribution this makes to our community and our students’ achievements.

This month, a close parent/school partnership will be an essential element of your child’s learning journey.  With help from the Stamford Faculty and Support Team, parents can support their children to achieve their best at home with these top tips.

Plan Ahead

A consistent daily routine is beneficial for all members of the family, their health and well-being.    During the school suspension, try to follow your child’s usual sleep and meal schedule as much as possible.  Encourage your children to get up, wash and dress at their usual time, so they are ready to start their day of learning.  Many students have found it helpful to put on their school uniform to create the right mindset. Maintaining established routines for sleep, meals, and hygiene will help children to feel secure and establish expectations. 

Create a Schedule as a Family

This month many parents will be balancing their work commitments alongside home-learning expectations for their children.  The to-do-list can seem overwhelming and it can be tempting to multitask in an effort to achieve more each day. While it seems like a good solution, switching between tasks lowers productivity and focus.  

Create a family schedule to ensure everyone is aware of each other’s daily commitments, such as online meetings and lessons. A realistic daily plan can help you to stay organized and reduce stress and anxiety!  Communication and organization are important tools during times of change and disruption.

Set up your workspace

Space is always a challenge in Hong Kong but do your best to create a dedicated workspace. To be in the right mindset for learning, students need a dedicated work area, away from the couch or bed. Make sure that the space has good lighting to avoid eye strain and be sure to clear the area of any clutter.  In a productive workspace, students will have all their learning materials close by and be able to focus on the task at hand.

Stay focused

We all struggle to maintain focus at times, and this is particularly challenging for young children. Television, electronic devices and games, as well as other family members can easily distract students from their learning activities.  To achieve more, students need to log out of social media and switch off other distractions such as devices and television. Family and friends should also try to keep the learning area quiet and distraction-free.  

Elementary students learn best in short, focused sessions with varied tasks.  While technology is currently the driving force for high-quality, interactive virtual learning at home, it is also important to keep a balance between online and offline time. Here are 5 tips on using technology wisely at home.   

Allow time for regular breaks to have a snack, move about, and listen to music. It is important to ensure that children have the opportunity to get up and stretch regularly. Even if it’s just a ten-minute walk or some exercises in the house, students will feel revitalized and rejuvenated after some activity away from the desk. Here are some great suggestions on Staying active and healthy at home from the Stamford PE Team.  As a family, you may like to join Stamford’s ‘Beat your Record Challenge’ and exercise with Leo.   

Reward your Child-and yourself!

Find ways to keep your child motivated with their learning.  Praise and encouragement, as well as small rewards, can be a powerful boost to a child’s self-esteem and encourage positive behaviors.  Our Counselors suggest positive reinforcement as a tool to motivate your child.  

Spending time together as a family is a great way to reduce stress.  The Stamford Arts Team has put together a collection of fun activities for music, visual arts, and drama.  Be sure to also give yourself a pat on the back for doing your best to support your child.

Realistic Expectations

Schools are aware that parents have commitments to their jobs and other children and it will be a new challenge to now help support with online learning. Be kind to yourself as a parent and don’t expect that everything will run smoothly.  Don’t be afraid to let your child’s teacher know if the workload or technologies are a challenge for you and you need some clarification, they will be happy to help.

Communication

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the school to ask for help when problems come up. It is vital that we establish clear communication channels during this period of online learning.  Teachers cannot help if they don’t know there is a problem.

This month, it is also important to stay connected with people.  Parents should ensure they are available to listen to and speak with their children.  Dinner table conversations are a great opportunity to check-in with your child, to hear about their day and discuss what they are learning.

Social connections are essential for good mental health and well-being, particularly during times of stress or anxiety. Please see our Counselor Blog, Its good to talk for some more advice.

Stamford’s team of guidance counselors offer a range of support services to members of the school community.  For more information on our culture of care, and our school program, please contact our Admissions Team.

 

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