Farhana, our International Area Manager for Asia spoke to Kaytie Harding, a Primary Music Specialist in Hong Kong. Kaytie is currently in her eighth week of home-schooling her daughter who is in Year 8 and has some tips for parents new to home-schooling.
Kaytie says her daughter was ok for the first few weeks as her school provided all the lessons for the week on the Monday, then parents were left to their own devices to manage that week’s work.
After a few weeks, her daughter’s school started live lessons and her daughter found this more challenging as she was sat in front of a screen from 8.30am to 3.30pm. This caused her to suffer from sensory overload with headaches, tired eyes and she was having trouble sleeping.
Kaytie, with the help of her daughter’s school, has now gone back to a more flexible timetable. Her daughter watches recorded lessons, rather than following them live, and has regular breaks - listening to music or playing the piano. They also go out on a dog walk once a day for a change of scene. Yesterday, they stopped working at 1pm and went for a run and chilled out in the afternoon, then her daughter finished off her schoolwork in the evening.
Kaytie says her daughter is now much happier, sleeping better and is getting all her work done whilst remaining calm.
“While the situation is not ideal, I’ve found that cutting her some slack means she’s more productive. And happier. Which means happy Mum!”
Kaytie's top tips for parents
- Be flexible. Distance learning is new for most parents, teachers and students. Try out different things to find what works for you and your family and don’t be worried if what works for your friend doesn’t work for you - everyone’s different.
- Speak to your child’s school. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask if any changes can be made. Everyone’s finding their feet and, although teachers are busy, they may be able to suggest alternative ways of watching lessons or ways work can be completed offline.
- Have regular breaks. Students, especially younger ones, won’t be used to spending whole days in front of a screen. Make sure they have regular breaks (away from a screen!) to give them a rest and help stop them from getting sore eyes or a headache.