Tag: COVID-19

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.





CaPTA Group Attractions to Reopen This June

Locally owned CaPTA Group will be reopening their nature-based attractions on Saturday 13th June. This includes Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, Rainforestation Nature Park and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.

These four attractions were closed following COVID-19, almost six weeks ago. The Woodward Family CaPTA Group also had to close two touring companies which operated in the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns Region. Fortunately, the doors will be reopened right in time for the school holidays!

The safety of guests, the public and the team is their priority, says Managing Director Peter Woodward. “We are certainly not through these turbulent times, and it is a rough road ahead, but opening in any capacity is a welcome notion.” “As a locally owned business, we have always contributed to the community, and now we hope those who are able to do so will support us,” he said.

Social distancing will still be enforced at each attraction and the number of daily visitors will be limited as per guidelines. Because of the limitations on visitor numbers, it is recommended that you pre-book. Presentations and tours will be altered due to restrictions. “We have a lot planned to keep our locals well looked after and entertained. I don’t want to give too much away so make sure you are following all our social media channels for updates.”

To see the wildlife from the comfort of your home:

Check out the Koala Live Cams.

Join the keepers as they introduce some of the animals while sharing more about the species. Watch on Facebook live:

Wednesday, 10am AEST from Wildlife Habitat.

Friday, 10am AEST from Rainforestation, Cairns ZOOM and the Butterfly Sanctuary. These attractions are on a rotating roster for live shows, which you can find here.



Managing Anxiety Surrounding COVID-19

While a lot of people are worried about COVID-19, this worry can become overwhelming for some people. It’s reasonable to be concerned and nervous for the future. But, if it’s beginning to become a burden and having negative impacts on your day to day life, then it’s important to take care of yourself and try to find ways to manage it.

Here are some ways you can ease the stress and manage your wellbeing during the pandemic.

Try to remember that health professionals all over the world are working their hardest right now, figuring out how to combat the virus. You may not see a lot of the progress being made, but it is there. Often anxiety increases when we don’t feel that we have control over what’s happening. Because of this, try staying up to date with the facts, following advice and planning for the possibility that you and/or your family will need to be isolated. This can help you get some of that control back.

Balancing news and media

There are a lot of media sources for information on the virus, but they aren’t always trustworthy. Limit how many alarming stories you read that can cause anxiety. Stay informed through trusted sources such as the government. The more media that you spend time on, the more likely you are to come across story after story that isn’t positive. This will make it harder it’ll be to distract yourself. It’s good to stay updated with the news however you should make sure you aren’t spending too much time and energy focusing on it.

Maintaining routine

Keeping a routine going is a great way to keep some normality in your life. If you can keep yourself busy then your brain will not have enough time to only focus on the virus. Then you will be able to continue getting things done. Also, stay in contact with the people you’d normally be in contact with.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t spend all of your time working just because it’s easier and more accessible at home. Make sure to get outside where you can and relax as much as you normally would. Working from your bedroom can disturb sleep and make it harder to switch off from work. Instead, try and work from other areas of your house.

Self-Care and coping skills

Take care of your body and mind through things such as exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep. You can read our blog on self-care for ways to practice self-care and the benefits it can have. Try not to drink more alcohol than usual as this can easily have a negative impact on your mental health.

Mindfulness is good to practice for retraining your brain to focus on your surroundings rather than your thoughts. It teaches you ways to respond to stress with awareness of what your emotions are and what is truly causing it. This helps to reduce how much you instinctively react with stress and panic over situations. Stress and anxiety normally makes it much harder for us to focus on the bigger picture.

When things start to feel overwhelming you can also take a break and try to work on slow, deep breathing. Find a quiet place, close your eyes and pay attention to breathing in and out. Take your time and tune into your body to calm yourself down.

Helping Children with COVID-19 Anxiety

Children aren’t equipped with the same knowledge that we have or the same understanding of what’s going on. If they are exposed to media that is alarming, it can cause more worry than necessary and make it more difficult for them to have a balanced perspective.

If you notice that your child is extremely anxious about the virus, explain to them that health professionals, the government and more are doing their absolute best to look after us. Try to limit the amount of media they hear and view,. Help them to understand restrictions such as isolation and reduced numbers at gatherings are a precaution more than anything. If we continue to practice healthy hygiene habits and follow the rules then things will be okay. Lots of hugs are helpful too! Remember, kids pick up on our stress a lot of the time. By managing your own anxiety, you can help reduce the amount of anxiety your child may have, because by seeing you worry, they assume they should be worried too.

With many children returning back to school, some may have increased anxiety over catching the virus. Reinforce how important washing their hands is to your children as they start attending school again, and how they should limit contact with other children.


These are some great articles, services, apps and organisations that can help you.

There is nothing wrong with feeling like you cannot cope. If you still feel overwhelmed, you don’t need to hesitate when it comes to speaking to your GP – they can help you figure out the next best steps to take and want to help you in the best way possible. You can also contact Lifeline www.lifeline.org.au 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue www.beyondblue.org.au 1300 22 4636.  


Brighten Someone’s Day with a Friendly Neighbourhood Note

We all know how good it feels to receive a handwritten letter in the mailbox…anything other than a bill right? Imagine the joy and surprise you could create with a simple yet meaningful note, dropped into your neighbour’s or nearby letterboxes along your regular walking route. Let people know you care and are thinking of them! The smallest act can make the biggest difference.

Spread some sunshine with one of these cute notes that we have designed, adding your own personal message. Simply download them from our website,  cut out the notes and start sharing the love. If you want to offer your assistance to the personal living in the house, should your neighbours be elderly or vulnerable, you could also add a contact number. Maybe you just want to offer them your phone number to have a chat any time they feel lonely during this period of social isolation due to coronavirus.

This is a time for all of us to come together. Something as simple as a note could make a world of difference to the person receiving it. Have fun spreading sunshine… as my Mum always said, “you can’t water a garden, without getting wet yourself.”

The thing is

The Thing Is, Now Is the Time to Be Grateful

It’s nearly 10pm, and it’s the first time in weeks that I have had a moment to myself to put my thoughts onto paper. The only reason I’ve lasted ‘til this hour of the night, is because of a 15 minute powernap I had during the day. Those 15 minutes were when I had momentarily given up on trying to be mum, chef, personal assistant, nurse, teacher’s aide, cleaner, cheerleader, animal wrangler, detective, therapist, boss, wife, daughter and mediator.  The thing is, it’s exhausting! You get to the end of the day not knowing where it went or what you did. Sometimes it’s been such a blur that you look at your children still in their PJ’s at 6pm and think to yourself “at least they’re ready for bed at a reasonable hour tonight”.

I went to do grocery shopping the other night. Because physically I’ve really let myself go, late night food shopping when it’s pretty empty is more appealing to me. So bum bag on with my “sanny” hanging off the side, I put on my white Michael Jackson washable gloves. Now I am raring to go. Sexy as. I shop like a crazy lady possessed as there is only thirty minutes to get in and out before the place closes. Then I rush through the aisles like a racecar driver with a busted wheel (I am never one to score a trolley that steers straight).

After making it to the counter and unloading my loot with 5 minutes to spare, I think to myself – what a legend. I stack that conveyer belt like a bricklayer with hot bricks (and my butt crack is likely showing too). But, realising I’ve left my bloomin’ shopping bags in the car, I tell the lady “Forgot my bags, I’ll be right back”. Before she can answer I run for it. “Whoa exercise! How many hats can I bring into my food shopping trip…go girl, multitasking again” is what I think as I am running like Forest Gump to my car.

Like a message from the universe, 10 steps in my trusty thong blows out. Not defeated, I start dragging one leg like I’ve been shot. I look down, and notice I am wearing two different thongs. But I keep going, grabbing my trusty reusable bags like a war on waste warrior. Making my way back to the checkout, breathing heavily, I smile. There is still stuff on the conveyer belt. I made it. 

But ALAS. Now I have to stuff my bags too, they don’t fill bags if you BYO. Quickly I drag my foot down to the other end of the register so fast that I create static electricity and zap myself. I’m sweating, but my white gloves remind me not to touch my face. Instead I use my upper arm to wipe my forehead and whoa – someone forgot deodorant. It gives me the boost I need to hurry up and get the heck out of there. I start shoving my purchases into bags like I’ve won a free 1-minute shopand-grab promo. Of course now my trolley looks like I am one of those terrible hoarders! I pay and get out of there as fast as my one dragging leg walk will allow.

As I drive home, I think to myself – WOW! Never did I ever imagine that getting the food I needed would be my biggest achievement for the day.

The simplest of things that I have taken for granted for so long are truly the most important. This really is a time to be grateful for so, so much.


Support Hub for Students in Australia

Leading Australian Mental Health service ReachOut have created a study support hub for students. The hub is to support the wellbeing and mental health of students across Australia as they navigate online learning during COVID-19. In addition, it’s also helpful for parents and teachers. Overall it includes tips and articles on dealing with stress, maintaining routine, balancing social life and study life, and more. There is also an option to sign up and give consent for us to send content directly to your inbox. This makes it easy to get helpful tips on staying occupied, self-care and other topics. 

With the pandemic changing so many aspects of our day to day lives, stress is prevalent and it’s hard to not worry about future. But students have already been worrying about their future, particularly their exams. Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut, said “New ReachOut data shows that even before COVID-19 had disrupted schooling.

“In fact nearly 75 percent of young people were already experiencing worrying levels of exam stress. One in five had extreme stress about exams.” 

“Students across Australia worry about how COVID-19 will impact their learning and education, not only this year, but also going forward. Of particular concern are students currently in Year 12 who are already thinking about the implications on their further education and employment.” “We don’t want to see these figures rise due to COVID-19. This is because unhealthy levels of study stress can have a direct impact on a young person’s mental health.”

Advice and information for parents on helping their young person with both school and wellbeing is available on the site. Parents can encourage and provide support their young person with keeping a routine, motivation, studying and managing stress. Support for teachers and wellbeing lesson plans are also available, which can be delivered online.

You can find the student support hub here.