Category: PARENTING

The Impact of Remote Learning on Parents Revealed

Cluey, an online tutoring service for students in Years 2 – 12, have released results of research they conducted on parents and how they’ve been supporting their child’s learning from home. The research looked into how parents’ careers were affected. It also revealed how much time parents spent on helping their child with remote learning.

Almost 60 per cent of primary school parents agree that their work and/or career has been impacted due to remote learning. It was admitted to have had a negative impact on 29 per cent of primary school parents. Additionally, 21 per cent have experienced a positive impact.

46 per cent of parents said they are happy and excited about schools reopening. The number of parents that were anxious or nervous was 15 per cent, and 39 per cent of parents had mixed feelings. One third of parents said they were unsure if they would send their child back to school or said they will not allow it.

The national study was conducted by surveying over 600 parents of primary-aged students. It showed that well over half of the parents spent at least a couple of hours a day on their child’s learning. Of that, 30 per cent of them dedicated their whole day to supporting their child with remote learning. This didn’t mean that parents felt properly equipped to provide the support needed however. Over one in five of the parents admitted they didn’t feel equipped when it came to basic literacy and numeracy skills.

But many parents have also gained a better understanding of their child. They revealed:

  • They better understand how their child learns as a result of at-home learning (over 65%)
  • Almost one third believe their child’s learning has suffered during this period
  • Lack of peer-to-peer learning has been the biggest educational challenge for their child (47%)
  • Their child likes or even loves online learning (48%)

Dr Selina Samuels, Cluey Chief Learning Officer, said, “…it has given parents a much deeper insight into what their child is learning at school and their learning gaps. Parents now have a lot of observations to draw on to support their child’s learning moving forward.” 

You can read more about the results of the study on Cluey’s website.

 

 

 

 

A Fun App for Educating Young Learners (Hip Hop Kangaroo and Friends)

Remote learning has spiked since COVID-19 isolation. And even though schools have reopened, you may be looking for great ways to assist your pre-school and early years school children with an extra kickstart to their education at home. There are a variety of apps and online ways for children to learn, but a special one that you should definitely check out is the Australian app Hip Hop Kangaroo and Friends.

The app is an interactive, entertaining way of providing quality education for young children. You can listen and watch the three friends Hip Hop Kangaroo, Poppy Platypus and Kula Koala as they sing, count and go exploring.

All of the content has been produced with the help of early years educators and teachers, making it a great way to engage your child in remote learning – whether it’s for homeschooling or just extra education at home. You can find iconic Australian places in the music videos, from Kangaroo Island to Adelaide Zoo! Included are professional subtitles in multiple languages, making it easy to learn English early.

One of the videos featuring Kula Koala in particularly has become a popular tool for teaching children the alphabet. The catchy song shows the right way to pronounce the letters of the English alphabet, the basis for the English language and something that every child has to learn. You can find it on the app or watch in on Hip Hop Kangaroo and Friend’s YouTube channel.

Also available on their website are the downloadable Classroom Activity Set and downloadable song lyrics. The activity set has colouring sheets, word matching activities and maze challenges, all for you to use for FREE! If you are guardian, teacher or parent looking for fun things to do with your kids, click here.

To get the app for $4.49 click here

 

Strategies for Successful Transitions Between Activities

Do you find it challenging to get the kids to stop what they’re doing to start on a new activity, like leaving for pre-school so you’re not late for work, coming to the dinner table so it doesn’t get cold, or starting their bedtime routine so they get a good night’s sleep? Do you have to ask multiple times and end up raising your voice, especially if it’s to stop your child’s screen time? If you answered yes to some or all of those questions, you’re not alone. Your child may just be struggling with the transitions between activities. 

Finding Empathy and Understanding

Transitions are not easy for any of us – child or adult alike. When you’re writing an email or report and you’re suddenly interrupted and required to do something less fun like attend a meeting, manage a work problem or take out the garbage at home, you probably wouldn’t like that transition. When we put it like that and stand in our children’s shoes, it helps parents and carers to be a little more compassionate and mindful when asking children to take their full attention off what they’re happily doing and transition to something they may not enjoy as much. Having said all of this, there are still ways to make those transitions more successful.

Simple Steps for Successful Transitions

Before your child starts an activity:

Explain the schedule and get them to “agree” to the schedule. For example, you can say something such as “you can watch 30 minutes of your favourite show before dinner, but then we need to turn it off to sit at the table and have dinner together, OK?”

Have a visual timer nearby. 

For instance, an hourglass where sand flows with the passage of time or a countdown time so the child can start to be aware of time passing.

Observe them quietly.

Eight to ten minutes before your child needs to transition from one activity to the next, go to where your child is and stand beside or behind and observe them quietly for a minute or so. This will give you the opportunity to gather “intel” and see what they’re up to. Eventually they may notice you – this is great as you have already moved them from being completely immersed in their own world to coming back to the world where you are!

Start a discussion

Encourage your child(ren) to tell you what they’re doing. They’re usually happy to share and engage with you. If not, it might require more direct questions to begin with to start the conversation.

Let your child(ren) know how long they have left to do the activity.

For instance, offer them five minutes and outline the next activity as “enticingly” as you can. For example, you might say “It’s nearly dinner time and I’ve cooked your favourite tonight”, or “Let’s go and have a bath so you can choose a book to read before bed”.

Sing or dance in the transition.

Make it a fun song in a funny voice. If your child seems excited, simply explain you’ll stay and wait here with them until time’s up and you’ll go to the next activity together. It’s best not to leave them and then have to shout multiple times from afar – this doesn’t tend to work and may even make things worse.

Ask them how you can help.

If your children don’t agree to willingly stop what they’re doing to go to the next activity – which is often the case, ask how you can help them to end this activity so they can move to the next smoothly. For example, with a Minecraft or LEGO build, write down the next steps so they don’t forget. Reassure them when they can come back to it later or tomorrow or on the weekend – whatever the case may be.

Remind them of the agreement.

If they still disagree and there’s shouting, complaining or the tears start to flow, come back at a later time when things are calm and remind them of their “agreement” about smooth transitions, the importance of self-regulation, respecting time limits and being responsible.

Be patient.

It may not happen quickly, but over time your child(ren) will learn the skills they need to self-regulate and be able to peacefully transition from one activity to the next. Self-regulation is one of the key life skills for a happy, healthy and successful life for your child.


About the Author

Dr Rosina McAlpine is the CEO and creator of the Win Win Parenting program. Win Win Parenting practical and fun programs are delivered across a variety of organisations including early learning, school, corporate and government organisations in Australia, New Zealand and The United States. Dr Rosina is an internationally recognised awardwinning researcher and educator.

 

Toilet Roll Craft Projects the Kids Will Love

Rocket ships

What You Need

Blue and white paint

Dark blue and white paper

Paintbrush

Red, yellow and black colouring pencils

Scissors

Method

Paint a couple of toilet rolls blue and white, then set aside to dry.

Cut all of the shapes that you need out of the different coloured paper, using the picture for reference. This includes the fins, the white wings and nose of the rocket, any windows and doors that you don’t want to draw on, plus the flames. To make the pointy ‘hat’ for the rockets, cut a circle out of the paper then cut a triangle wedge out of it (like a slice of pie). Bring each side of the disk together to make the cone shape and glue them together.

Using your colouring in pencils, colour the shapes according to the pictures (or however you feel- it’s your rocket after all). Feel free to mix and match what colours you use for the different parts of the rocket (leaving the coloured paper as it is).

Stick each part of the rocket onto the cardboard roll using the hot glue gun.

Tip: Cut two thin lines into the bottom of the toilet roll and insert the fins into them. This is easier than trying to glue them on.

Cute Bumble Bees

What You Need

Cardboard toilet roll

Yellow paint

Paintbrush

Black, white and yellow paper

Black and pink pencils

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

 

Method

Paint the cardboard roll with the yellow paint and set it aside to dry.

To make the wings, cut four tear drop shapes out of the white paper, making sure two of the drops are larger than the other two (for top and bottom wings). Cut the antennae and two thin strips out of the black paper. These strips should be long enough to wrap around the roll of cardboard.

To make the bee’s face, take the yellow paper and cut a circle from it. Use a black pencil to draw the eyes and smiley face on the circle and the pink pencil to draw the heart cheeks. You could also cut out two small hearts from pink paper and glue them on, should you wish.

Once the paint on the cardboard is dry, take the two strips of black paper and run a glue stick along one side. Then, wrap the freshly glued strips around the lower half of the roll, roughly 2cm apart. Use the hot glue gun to stick the wings, face and antennae onto the roll as pictured and then you’ve got a cute bumble bee!

Tip: Cutting the shapes out of the paper is easier if you draw them with a pencil first. When gluing the wings, place all the points together in the centre.

You can find some great jar upcycling activities for kids here. 

 

Set Your Child Up for Success With High-Quality Early Education

Mary MacKillop North Queensland Kindergartens are leading the way in contemporary early education across North and Western Queensland.

Their facilities are designed with the child’s experience in mind. They offer a stimulating and nurturing environment tailored to foster play and sensory-based learning. Interim Executive Director Alana Crouch said “MMCNQ Kindergarten programs strive to offer the highest standard of early education and care. It is a process of continuous improvement; every day our teachers continue to reshape their planning and program to reflect the interests, joys and motivations of the children in their care and cater for the individual learning journeys of each child”. “Experts agree that children who attend a high-quality early childhood program like the ones we offer have better skills in a variety of areas including literacy, numeracy and problem solving, just to name a few.”

MMCNQ Kindergartens take the whole child into account. This is important because children learn at different paces and in different ways. It is our job to provide the best environment for naturally developing their social skills. This is done through making friends, sharing, playing and more. A lot of learning happens through play and through immersion in natural environments. The children are allowed to express themselves through art, science, dance and dramatic play every day. In this way, the kindergarten children are exposed to many different learning platforms.

MMCNQ Kindergarten programs are led by registered teachers and early childhood professionals. They provide the foundation for your child to develop a love of learning and become confident, competent and successful learners, well on their way to positively transitioning to school.

To enquire about enrolment for 2021 at any of the nine Kindergartens across North and Western Queensland, email enrolment@mmcnq.catholic.edu.au

A Great Love for Discovery With the Pre-Prep Program

The Pre-Prep Program at Townsville Grammar School is the first possible entry point to accessing a Grammar education. It is the beginning of a great love for discovery.

As one of eight Grammar schools in Queensland, Townsville Grammar School’s Principal, Mr Timothy Kelly, said a Grammar education is an experience designed to open young minds to discovery and learning. The school provides a rich environment for personal development.

“We are proud to have supported generations of families in our 132-year history through our commitment to delivering exceptional education,” said Mr Kelly. The program is delivered at the early education centres of the Junior School Campuses in Annandale and North Shore. Mr Kelly says it is a popular starting point for families wishing to access a Grammar education. “It is the earliest entry point and a fantastic foundation years for the children as they move into prep,” said Mr Kelly. The program is led by Director of Early Education, Ms Cyndi Friend, and delivered by her team of university qualified teachers and diploma-level educators. All of them are passionate about educating children within this age group.

“Year after year we bid fond farewells to our pre-preps as they very confidently and excitedly leave us to move into prep,” said Ms Friend. “Our structure ensures that the children are very carefully introduced to learning through play-based programs with a ‘progress without pressure’ ethos.  Towards the end of the year, our pre-preps start to visit our prep classrooms. They join in with some of the specialist lessons such as music, drama, sport, library and languages. We do this so that the children get to know the teachers and become familiar with the layout of the campus and the routines of school life. Over the course of the year, our pre-preps also join in with some of the major school events such as sports carnivals, art shows and concerts. It’s a very effective way of transitioning our youngest Grammarians to life in “the big school,” and ensuring that their entry to the prep year is a smooth process.”

“This is where it begins,” said Mr Kelly. “Children enter our school system and begin to become familiar with our community, our culture and our Grammar learning ethos. Here we must capture their imagination and instil a great sense of wonder for discovery and learning.”