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Daisydreamer
Community Manager

Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

Hi there Forums Community, 

 

Over the last month we have been hearing about the road maps and ways out of lockdown for Victoria and New South Wales. A big part of the changes we will see is kids heading back to school for the first time in months. 

 

This news has brought up lots of emotions for parents and children, and I thought I might make a space for us to chat and support the parents of school aged children during this time of transition back to the classroom. 

 

To get started:

 

1) Do you have school aged kids that have been impacted by the lockdowns?

2) What have been some of the impacts of homeschooling for your family?

3) How do you feel about kids returning to school?

4) What resources are there to support kids who might be anxious about returning to face to face learning?

19 REPLIES 19

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

What a great topic to talk about.

1. Yes I do I have two one of which is special needs and heading to high school next year scary times ahead.

2. Homeschooling is HARD!!! We are a very close family but lockdown has made us all fight a lot with each other I have watched my children cry way more then they ever would we have gone from six days a week sports to nothing that affects there school work to.

3. I worry that they will be nervous and they may have even fallen behind.

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

My daughter started kinder this year. It was a rough first 2 terms for us, she is a shy kid and we had some issues. She was finally starting to make some progress and then we went into lockdown.

 

Home learning was alright for the most part, she was keen to get going each morning and eager to learn, but by the end of term 3 she was very much over it. She wanted to participate less and less and we had a lot of tantrums. I was very much over it too. 

We are looking forward to back to school. I'm not real sure how my daughter feels about it though. I really hope that she settles back in quickly and that we don't have any of the same issues we had at the beginning of the year. 

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

Thanks for the thread @Daisydreamer . It is absolutely something we need to discuss.

 

@Bow @MrsFahey ,

 

I don't have my own children, but as a teacher, I may be able to offer you some reassurance.

 

1. Teachers are aware of the learning gaps which may have been caused by home learning. Teachers will work with all students from whatever point they are at in order to bring them up to speed.

 

2. During COVID, health and well-being (not academics) had to be a priority in schools as directed by the government. Teachers are understandably aware of the many stressors families may be facing.

 

3. For students in kinder/prep and the early years, the department of education has also directed teachers to focus on play-based learning. e.g. cooking at home, playdough, puppetry. Even when students return to school, play-based opportunities should be provided.

 

4. Teacher are there to support students and families. If you have concerns about your child's learning (eg tantrums), contact their teacher. Schools have protocols in place to support student engagement. For example, a school psychologist might work with your child for a few sessions; there may be an offer for onsite learning; they may offer a separate regular check-in for your child.

 

5. In terms of what @Daisydreamer a wrote about returning to school anxieties, one of the first things on the agenda when kids return to school is for them to re-establish connections and relationship-building. However, this is for the general cohort, and doesn't take into account those who have a higher level of need. Once again, if there are anxieties, speak to the classroom teacher as they can work together with you to come up with a suitable plan e.g. phone call about returning to school to discuss anxieties.

 

6. As for resources, I have plenty to share. Will post them at a later date (I'm currently on an iPad and not my computer).

 

Hope this helps families to a certain extent. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

BPDSurvivor

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

I guess as a parent my biggest concerns is these lockdowns are going to continue to happen an each time it does schools will shut an that holds a lasting effect on our younger generation.

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

But thank you so much for all your helpful insight from a teachers side and I honestly take my hat off to all teachers your never given enough appreciation

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

I'm not quite a parent to a school aged child but a much younger child at kindergarten but I thought I could still offer something to this. 

1) Do you have school aged kids that have been impacted by the lockdowns?

 

We have an almost 4 year old who started kindergarten (Victoria) this year.

 

2) What have been some of the impacts of homeschooling for your family?

 

We  have been in a fortunate position where although schools closed kinders did not always shut, but did in some lockdowns, which has caused a lot of interruption for us.

In that case we didn't have to homeschool but were sent activities (optional) to complete and report back on.

Having spent so much time at home in 2020 this has had a huge impact, we were  hoping for a better 2021 but that didn't last long.
Ours is so anxious, and we struggle to leave the house most days, this is because we haven't been "allowed" to leave for so long.
When we do leave the house it usually requires some form of bribing, and he's still not happy. 
The peak of this impact was probably earlier this year when we left our house to go for a walk and he had what I was would describe as (having experienced it before) a small anxiety attack and ran back to our house and tried to get inside, telling us that we "need to go home now". This started happening pretty much everytime we left the house including going to kinder.

We're still seeing this happen a fair bit but less when either my partner or myself is within arms reach, we still cannot get him to attend kinder without having to sit next to him for half an hour before leaving him there. The last couple of months have been hard as that is when the most closures of kinder has happened so we are trying to get him back and we were finally get to a space where it was becoming less of an issue but now it's starting up again. 

 

 

3) How do you feel about kids returning to school?


Looking at the exposure site list in Melbourne, there are lots of day cares and OSHC services as sites. It's pretty scary but I also have faith in our small community here to do the right thing and stay safe, with our vax rates going up that is good to know. 

 

4) What resources are there to support kids who might be anxious about returning to face to face learning?

 

Our educators at the kinder have been a great resource and support, my partner is pretty well versed in this area too, well and truly more than I am.

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

Also want to point out that we have a very routine based child, who constantly asks “why can’t we” when his routine is disrupted, eg he knows that after kinder we go to the local cafe and have a hot chocolate together -
Why can’t we sit down there on those chairs? we always sit at that table!

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

Hi @MrsFahey,

Transitioning to high school is such a big step for kids, really feeling for the kids in Year 6 this year that have missed a lot of their last year of primary school. Homeschooling is hard, and it sounds like you have been doing everything you can to keep your family going Heart When everyone is living, and working, and studying at home, it's understandable there is some tension! Really appreciate you sharing with us- it is hard and you are doing everything you can. It's a hard year for parents!

Very valid concerns for your son when he goes back. Have you both had any conversations about how he might cope with some of that stress?

Re: Supporting kids to return to school after lockdown

Hi @Bow,
That must be so hard for your daughter, seeing that progress and her starting to feel comfortable at school right before lockdown.

That's such a good point about energy starting to fade- kids are feeling the lockdown like we are. What was novel and new, is now exhausting. You have both done so well to get this far in the term!

I am holding hope that she will cope well too @Bow Heart Hopefully the school will support her through the transition too, knowing that the start to the year was difficult for her.
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