Journalist Meg Watson wrote an article recently that explores children’s behaviour during home-based learning ‘Why your kids behave worse for you than at school’.
It’s a great read and one that I’m sure some of our SJF families might relate to. While I would encourage you to click the link and read the whole article – Below is a summary of her key points.
Christine Grové, an educational developmental psychologist who works with teachers and parents, says parents shouldn’t beat themselves up if their children are being less than compliant right now. Given current lockdown – there are a whole bunch of reasons why your kids behaviour might be more challenging.
Dr Grové explains, home is where kids usually ‘let go’ and relax, it’s a place where they can just be themselves. “They might keep things together at school … but then feel safe at home to release any tension they’re feeling.” Now, with lockdowns – school has crept into our home space — add to the mix the anxieties of the pandemic …. It’s a lot for little ones and they often don’t understand why the change.
Dr Grové reminds us “Some kids are really well behaved at school because there are clearly set expectations, developed over time. They know the guidelines, when the breaks are, and what to do when the bell goes … But then it’s a struggle at home when there isn’t that routine or predictability around what we need them to do.”
She states that routine is key for kids of all ages and while “it can be challenging for parents to set that kind of modelling up at home” in addition to everything else going on, ultimately this will benefit the whole family.
What you can do to help
While we need to acknowledge there is a lot that’s out of our control at the moment, Dr Grové says there are real practical strategies we can implement to gain some control in our home and support our children with home learning.
- Keep them in the loop Conversation with your kids around ‘why are we going into lockdown’ and why these changes are happening are essential. Help them to set a positive mindset about the situation.
- Set a routine Children need to know what’s expected of them in the home – consider visual routines or charts clearly illustrating what their day looks like and what is to be completed. This is best completed with the child’s input.
- Adjust your expectations This is a tough time for everyone — As parents we need to adjust our expectations for ourselves and our children and support each other as much as possible. Research tells us that if we prioritise a child’s wellbeing, then they are more likely to retain information and engage in their learning.
- Get help when you need Should you need clarification or extra support regarding HBL, your child’s teacher is the best person to support you. At SJF our teachers are best contacted via the student learning platforms Seesaw or Dojo.