Welcome to School at Home

Significant events like the spread of COVID-19 or a school closure, can create a lot of anxiety in both children and adults.

When there is this kind of uncertainty and confusion, it’s important to focus on the things we can do as this can help to reduce some of those larger anxieties.

While talking to your children about the current changes to their schooling, and the changes in social distancing, explain to them that this is only temporary and that they will be going back to school in the future. If your children are older you might talk with them about things you are missing out on too, that it is frustrating and a new experience for you as well, but that you will get through this together. Remember to consider the benefits of this time, being together, having technology so you can keep in touch with friends, trying and learning new things together.


Most of us have had to transfer our work to home, including our children. If you have the space at home, set up a designated space where school desk work can be completed. Your child may enjoy helping to create a space for their learning and setting up how they can organise their materials to complete work from school.

Australian Gifted Support Centre can offer a consultation on planning and organising your school work enquiries@australiangiftedsupport.com.

You may decide to put away your school bags for this time. Plan with your child how books and stationery will be stored when not in use. You may have a shelf of basket. This will be a great opportunity to practice organisational skills and will help your child feel a sense of control over their belongings. Packing up also gives them a sense of when school activities finish each day, creating clear boundaries.

The first few weeks of school at home may be tricky as you and your child learn to navigate this new normal. Learning at home has its advantages, such as allowing you the flexibility to meet your child’s individual needs. It can also be difficult to sustain focus as there are many distractions that are part of home life. You may need to turn off the TV or app notifications, put the family pet in another room, separate kids and adult workers from each other, pack away favourite toys for parts of the day. Perhaps compromise and schedule in physical activities, TV breaks, time to contact friends online, time to just be at home as a family without work pressures.


For most children, the schools are able to provide many resources and activities to support your child’s ongoing learning. If you struggle to keep up or are uncertain how to schedule all of these activities, you may find that contacting the teacher and asking for their advice will help. If the class has a regular routine, you may choose to follow that schedule, to maintain some structure for your child. Keeping your child to a routine schedule will create predictability and reduce anxiety.

However, your child may struggle to keep pace with the work provided, the change of presentation, the newness of everything, not having peers to push them along etc. Remember as a parent your role is to support your child. If there is too much work (and as teachers get used to how much to program this may fluctuate with too much or too little) then don’t do it all. If there is too little, find a passion project to pursue. Children naturally learn all the time. They won’t suffer too much from a lack of schoolwork. They will suffer more from stress in the environment. Relax and take it slowly for the first few weeks.

Many people who have chosen to home school have recognised that it takes about one month per year of schooling before a child begins to drive their own learning. You are only in this for a few weeks, it will be ok.

High school aged children are more likely to have a timetabled school day, they may have video links for their classes available which would see them “attend” their classes virtually. Primary school students may “check in” virtually with their teacher in the morning classroom (depending on their school) but their day to day work may depend on you being more interactive and helping them. Whatever their age, remember to communicate with your children, checking on their progress in both their schoolwork and how they are coping emotionally.

Some children may take this time to be an extended holiday. While initially this may be good for their mental wellbeing, eventually they will need to catch up on their learning so that when they transition back to school, they will not struggle to keep up. Try to explain that as well as all the fun activities they can do at home, at this time they also need to spend a good part of the day doing schoolwork. Put up a schedule that allows them to finish their work and still have time for fun home activities such as riding their bike or kicking the ball around.

Australian Gifted Support Centre can offer a consultation on planning and organising your school work enquiries@australiangiftedsupport.com.


While social distancing is vital, staying in touch with friends, grandparents or cousins regularly and having social interactions are important for children. Try to provide virtual channels to interact socially with peers, this will help children maintain connections and keep their moral high. For example, you could organise a virtual study group for your child and their friends, have a Netflix ‘watch’ party, an online video game together, a Facetime or Skype playdate.

There are also resources and support groups available through NESA enquiries@australiangiftedsupport.com for parents who need support during this period.


Children spend a lot of time moving around, not only at school but during after school activities and sports so it’s important to ensure that they are still engaging & participating in activities they enjoy while they’re at home.

If it’s practical, spend some time riding bikes, or going for a walk together as a family. You could get out or make some kites to fly in a local park. Exercise can have a positive effect on everyone’s mental health, so it is important to stay active during this time.

If outdoor activities are not a possibility, look at family bonding activates such as family games night, a picnic in the backyard, or even use this opportunity to create a family herb or vegetable garden. Wii -fit or Wii sport can also be a fun way to keep physically active.


During this time, it is extremely important that parents listen and talk to their children about what is happening around them. Provide them with age-appropriate information that is based on the facts via reliable resources. Have conversations with your children and ask them about what they know or what they may have heard, so you can clarify any misconceptions they might have. Validate your child’s emotions as they talk to you about the situation.

If you think your child will benefit with some support in Handling Big Emotions, Australian Gifted Support Centre will be able to provide an online workshop to teach some skills to you and your child. enquiries@australiangiftedsupport.com

Don’t be afraid to tell your child that you don’t know what will happen. Assure them that whatever happens you are there with them. Tell them that you will share information as you learn more. Remember that children will pick up any emotion from the adults around them, so try to maintain a sense of calm to help them cope.

This is also a time to ensure that you are looking after yourself. It is extremely stressful taking on the role as your child’s teacher plus the additional responsibilities that you have as a parent. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, that you are eating well and taking time for yourself, whether it be going for a walk or using relaxation/meditation techniques where possible.


If you are struggling, ask for help. The teachers will be very happy to assist you if you need help with supporting your child’s schooling. Australian Gifted Support Centre is also available for counselling you about how best to help your child enquiries@australiangiftedsupport.com. Your friends and families will reach out to you if they know you are struggling. If you need to, get in touch with your doctor to help with problems that seem overwhelming. We are all in this together and want the best outcome for you.