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Tips for Parents




Supporting your Kindergarten – Grade 7 child – Considerations for families

+ Model your uncertainty and share your feelings.

Encourage your child(ren) to share their feelings. Reassure your child(ren) that you are keeping yourself and them safe and healthy by following guidelines.

+ Be open to a new way of learning.

Be patient and ease gently into it. This is a significant and sudden shift for everyone. Your child may be learning using online tools as well as with paper materials.

+ Routines are going to be different now.

It can be comforting to keep some consistency for your child during these challenging times, but it is natural that schedules will be modified as needed. Consistency might be difficult or impossible to maintain. Depending on your child and current situation at home it might be possible for you to invite your child to create a schedule or ‘shape of the day’ (agenda) for themselves. This might encourage them to take ownership of their learning. What are their interests/hobbies? What topics might they like to explore and learn more about (socially, culturally)?

+ Create a learning space that is as comfortable as possible for your child with their input.

Consider seating, lighting, music and access to basic materials (paper, writing tools, ruler — your teacher may be able to help with this). Be mindful of distractions, and access to available technology, etc. Sharing spaces, materials and technology with multiple members of the same household might be challenging and may not even be possible at times — what are some ways you might be able to accomplish this?

+ Connect with your children throughout the day.

Consider taking advantage of learning opportunities as they present themselves: Household tasks, games, cooking and baking, inviting your child to share their dreams, sharing cultural traditions, talking about topics that interest them. These, and more, are ways we can engage.

+ Talk to your children about their school assignments.

Avoid telling them what to do; rather ask questions that cause them to think or that steer them toward arriving at a solution on their own. If you are knowledgeable in an area, show them how they might do something by walking them through a similar question or problem and then have them apply that approach to their assignment.

+ Help manage demands

Teachers are paying attention to the amount of work they are assigning students as well as being mindful of other demands that students may be experiencing learning from home. If you are finding that your child is struggling with the various demands or you need some help, please communicate this with your child’s teacher(s). Teachers will be letting you know the best way to communicate with them.

+ Screen time will be used differently now.

Children may or may not be using online learning tools. If they are, make sure that there are frequent breaks. Although there are many wonderful online tools and resources, balance screen time by recommending reading a book, playing a game, drawing or encouraging safe outdoor activities.  Limit news consumption, including social media that is negative. If learning will be occurring online, it might be difficult to ask children to limit screen time which may be a source of entertainment and connecting with friends.

+ Focus on healthy living.

Practice physical, emotional, and social wellness: exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, be positive, relax, and stay connected with friends and family (virtually).

  • Start new positive habits that you’ve always meant to incorporate into your routines.
  • Have a forgiving mindset, especially towards yourself -- be kind
  • Know that you are not alone in feeling worried or overwhelmed
  • Reframe the time away as a potential period of rest, rejuvenation and reflection
  • Do things you enjoy, be positive and relax when possible
  • Stay connected with friends and family (virtually and at home)
  • Maintain physical distancing and follow all public health guidelines.

Supporting your Grades 8-12 teen – Considerations for families

+ Model your uncertainty and share your feelings.

Encourage your teen(s) to share their feelings. Reassure your teen(s) that you are keeping yourself and them safe and healthy by following guidelines.

+ Be open to a new way of learning.

Be patient and ease gently into it. This is a significant and sudden shift for everyone. Your teen may be learning using online tools as well as with paper materials.

+ Routines are going to be different now.

It can be comforting to keep some consistency for your teen during these challenging times, but it is natural that schedules will be modified as needed. Consistency might be difficult or impossible to maintain. Depending on your teen and current situation at home it might be possible for you to invite your teen to create a schedule or ‘shape of the day’ (agenda) for themselves. This might encourage them to take ownership of their learning. What are their interests/hobbies? What topics might they like to explore and learn more about (socially, culturally)?

+ Create a learning space that is as comfortable as possible for your teen, with their input.

Consider seating, lighting, music and access to basic materials (paper, writing tools, ruler — your teacher may be able to help with this). Be mindful of distractions, and access to available technology, etc. Sharing spaces, materials and technology with multiple members of the same household might be challenging and may not even be possible at times — what are some ways you might be able to accomplish this?

+ Connect with your teen throughout the day.

Consider taking advantage of learning opportunities as they present themselves: Household tasks, games, cooking, inviting your teen to share their dreams, sharing cultural traditions, talking about topics that interest them. These, and more, are ways we can engage.

+ Talk to your teens about their school assignments.

Avoid telling them what to do; rather ask questions that cause them to think or that steer them toward arriving at a solution on their own. If you are knowledgeable in an area, show them how they might do something by walking them through a similar question or problem, and then have them apply that approach to their assignment.

+ Help manage demands.

Teachers are paying attention to the amount of work they are assigning students as well as being mindful of other demands that students may be experiencing learning from home. If you are finding that your teen is struggling with the various demands or you need some help, please communicate this with your teen’s teacher(s). Teachers will be letting you know the best way to communicate with them.

+ Screen time will be used differently now.

Your teen may or may not be using online learning tools. If they are, make sure that there are frequent breaks. Although there are many wonderful online tools and resources, recommend your teen balance screen time by recommending reading a book, playing a game, drawing or encouraging safe outdoor activities. Prioritize hanging out as a family together at some point in the day when you don’t discuss schoolwork; and limit news consumption, including social media that is negative. If learning will be occurring online, it might be difficult to ask your teen to limit screen time which may be a source of entertainment and connecting with friends.

+ Focus on healthy living.

Model and encourage practising physical, emotional, and social wellness: exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, be positive, relax, and stay connected with friends and family (virtually).

  • Start new positive habits that you’ve always meant to incorporate into your routines.
  • Have a forgiving mindset, especially towards yourself -- be kind
  • Know that you are not alone in feeling worried or overwhelmed
  • Reframe the time away as a potential period of rest, rejuvenation and reflection
  • Do things you enjoy, be positive and relax when possible
  • Stay connected with friends and family (virtually and at home)
  • Maintain physical distancing and follow all public health guidelines.


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