Learning From Home
LEARNING FROM HOME - THE CALVARY WAY
In this unprecedented event around COVID-19 (CoronaVirus), Calvary Christian College has developed Learning from Home plans to ensure as much as possible, the continuity of learning for all of our students.
Learning from Home at Calvary will be distributed on a week-by-week basis by the classroom teachers to provide opportunities for our students to continue with their learning, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy.
Online curriculum resources will be made available according to year levels, and students are encouraged to pace their learning accordingly. Students in Prep to Year 4 will require support to manage their time, and read and understand instructions.
There are many free resources available for parents to access that will support learning. The Learning from Home plans outlined here align with the Curriculum plan of the College and continue the progressive plan that would occur in the classroom. Check back here regularly for updated plans and learning activities.
ADVICE TO PARENTS
In this time of world confusion, our goal at Calvary is to provide a consistent and comprehensive plan for all of our Calvary community to embrace learning from home. Below are some tips to help you, as the primary educator at home, not just survive but to thrive in learning.
In an environment of ‘unknown’ routine is very important for us all, not just our children. We want to encourage you with these three Learning From Home facts:
You will NOT ruin your child’s education – by following a plan given to you by your child’s teachers and taking every opportunity to engage with your children developing life skills, they can learn from and with you as their primary educator at home. This gives you the opportunity to teach cooking, car maintenance – how to change a tyre, sewing, creating a hobby – so many things that will bring positive learning results. You can totally do this!
Schooling at home does not look the same as it does in a classroom – there is a big difference between 25 children in a classroom and 1-3 (or more) at home. Don’t be tempted to make your Learning from Home routine look the same as the classroom routines. It will work better to rely on the strength and informality of home. Focus on putting relationships first, instead of assignments – you will find things flow much easier.
Learning from Home does not take as long as at school! – much of the time in traditional classrooms is spent managing logistics. When you may well be juggling your own work from home schedule – remember that a few hours of quality learning for your children will be extremely valuable.
Tears and worries, overwhelm and concern, these words may characterise how we are all feeling right now. In order to help allay some of these concerns it is important to establish and maintain a learning routine.
For our Primary students, Learning from Home may look like a three hour Learning from Home plan: -
Pick ANY three (3) hour block of time that works for your family – it could be morning or afternoon. Research has indicated that morning learning is the best. It might also be best to have the same time slot each day. But make this decision considering your family’s situation, your own work expectations and the age of your children.
Define what is and is not allowed during this time – your goal in this three-hour period should be dedicated learning. This may include educational use of devices (not for entertainment or social media), creative activities such as baking, imaginative toys (Lego) and a ‘brain break’ where your children can get outside and get their ‘wiggles’ out! Once you have decided what is and in not allowed, have a family meeting to, in an age-appropriate way, explain the goals and expectations of everyone.
Each hour has a different goal –
Hour 1 = any essential academics – literacy, mathematics, set classroom tasks
Hour 2 = Reading – read alouds, independent reading, audiobooks.
Hour 3 = educational games, online learning activities, Podcasts, Clickview.
For our Secondary students, we encourage them to follow their normal class timetable and complete the set learning activities for 30-45 minutes per subject in a day, where learning will be clearly outlined. Across the day this should amount to approximately 3-4 hours of planned activities and will allow students to have a balance of subjects across the week as they work at their own pace.
Imagine your family ten years from now, looking back on this time.
What will you want to remember most? How does this sound:
Read-alouds on the lounge, baking and cooking, dealing with squabbles and bad attitudes (this is real life, after all), chores, Lego villages, discussions around the table, documentaries and movies, time spent outdoors, board games, ice cream and audiobooks, online learning and podcasts.
In other words, HOME.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, let’s do our best to enjoy this unexpected gift of time with our children.
Facilitating your child’s learning at home can be immensely rewarding. Here are a few tips on how to create a learning friendly space:
Try to create a quiet and comfortable learning space. Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may not be suitable for working in for an extended period of time.
A space/location for extended learning should be a public/family space, not in a bedroom. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and have a strong wireless internet signal, if possible. Above all, it should be a space where you or another adult is present and monitoring your children's learning.
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT CHECKLIST:
Is the area free from distraction?
Is there excessive noise in the area?
Is the area exposed to direct glare or reflections?
Does the area have sufficient power points available?
Is there a proper desk and chair and other necessary equipment (light, stationary, devices)?
Visit Learning Curve for access to an online wellingbeing and resilience program. The website provides a range of high quality activities for children to meaningfully build on their wellbeing and resilience. New interactive, hands on, evidence based activities are updated regularly. For access, use the below login details:
Visit the 'Your Mental Wellbeing' website for great ideas and activities to care for your mental wellbeing using the six building blocks for a healthy mental wellbeing:
1. Get healthy 2. Keep learning 3. Show kindness 4. Connect more 5. Take notice 6. Embrace nature
If you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing, support is also available through a number of Queensland Government agencies and community organisations.
Parents and carers can:
Call 13Health (13 43 25 84) at any time for practical medical advice and assistance;
Visit the Queensland Health’s Coronavirus webpage for the latest information and advice;
Visit Headspace’s dedicated webpage about coping with stress related to Coronavirus, or contact Headspace for professional support;
Contact Lifeline Australia’s telephone counselling service on 13 11 14 for information, referral and advice;
Obtain help and information from the local General Practitioner or Community Health Centre.
Being confined to home for an extended period of time can cause stress and conflict. Tips for looking after your children and yourself during isolation include:
Talking to your whole family about what is happening. Understanding the situation will reduce their anxiety.
Help your children to think about how they have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure them that they will cope with this situation too. Remind them that the isolation won't last for long.
Exercise regularly. Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, if you have it. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
Encourage your children to keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media (where appropriate)
Start and end each day with a simple check-in! Not everyone will thrive in a remote learning environment, some will struggle with too much independence or lack of structure and check-ins do help everyone stay on track.
Ask these questions:
What are you learning today?
What are your learning targets or goals?
How will you be spending your time?
What resources do you require?
What support do you need?
Acknowledge one thing that was difficult. Either let it go or come up with a strategy to deal with the same problem if it comes up again.
Consider three things that went well today. Why were they good?
Are you ok? Do you need to ask your teacher for something? Do you need help with something to make tomorrow more successful?
These specific questions matter because they allow your child to process the instructions they have received and help them organise themselves and set priorities. Older students may not want to have these check-ins with parents (this is normal!), but they should anyway.
Communicating with the College:
This situation is new for Calvary and for most of you, our families. We will continue to engage in a cycle of continuous improvement and refinement based on feedback and the state and national situation as it unfolds.
The first port of call will be your child’s classroom or subject teacher via email. If you have any curriculum or learning activity questions please email them directly. Teachers will be accessible during school hours to address these things.
In this unusual situation, the processes of contacting the College remain the same. For processes or procedural issues please email the College through the relevant administration email and they will ensure the relevant person is notified:
It is important to remember that your child’s teacher/s will be communicating with between 25 and 100 other families and that your communication should be meaningful and short. You may also need to remind your child to be patient when waiting for support or feedback.
With all of our students accessing learning more and more through the online platforms it is vital that we begin and maintain a conversation with our children, as is age relevant, around online safety. Below are a number of links to some valuable resources that can inform and assist parents/carers and students be wise and feel safe when using online programs and learning tools:
eSafety website - a comprehensive guide to all things related to the use of digital and online tools. This site accesses many activities for all ages and all genders and can be a wonderful tool for use by parents/carers as you navigate the online world.
eSafety - page for parents - specific advice for parents/carers regarding the big issues facing young people at all ages including the issue of cyberbullying.
eSafety - classroom resources - access a wide variety of activities you can do with your child/ren. These can be filtered by age and topic to make it easier to determine what you might like to address with your child.
It is important that during this period of remote learning that we maintain safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies. This includes appropriate use of digital platforms, privacy and information protection, respectful communication and how to deal with online issues.
It is strongly advised that parents do not purchase software from third-party providers in response to this situation. There are many companies and organisations advertising the latest and greatest program.
Calvary Christian College has a number of valuable programs and subscriptions that teachers will be using in their weekly Learning From Home plans. These are designed to align with the College’s greater curriculum plan.
Access to the digital learning platforms used by the College will be coming soon - check back shortly for an update.
WISDOM WITH DIGITAL LEARNING
It is important to ensure that all students when Learning from Home are familiar with and understand the College Acceptable use of Technology Agreement. Even though your child will be Learning from Home, it is still important that they comply with the College’s Code of Conduct when using devices at home for learning. The expectations of your child and their required behaviour will be the same as a face-to-face lesson.