Western Sydney University launches expert resources to help those juggling home schooling

Western Sydney University’s School of Education has launched new online resources to help parents and caregivers who are home-schooling their children during the New South Wales COVID-19 lockdown.

Developed by experts from the School’s Education Knowledge Network (EKN) the resources have proven successful with University staff, and are now available to all parents including in-language versions, with Arabic, Chinese Mandarin and Vietnamese translations.

The factsheets contain research-driven advice for both primary and secondary-aged students across the areas of English and Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Education, Creative Arts, Student Wellbeing and HSC support.

Deputy Director of the School’s Centre for Educational Research, Professor Catherine Attard, said the University is proud to provide these home school resources to all parents and guardians, including those across south-western and western Sydney.

“We are so pleased these resources will now be able to be utilised by the wider community, as we all try to navigate the home-schooling space,” said Professor Attard.

“The easily digestible factsheets are an opportunity for parents and guardians to better understand how to encourage and support their child through virtual learning.”

Dean of the School of Education, Professor Michele Simons, offered her congratulations to all who were involved in developing the resources.

“We understand that students across both primary and secondary years, and their families, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns,” said Professor Simons.

“Our hope is that these resources will provide much-needed support to the parents and guardians who are selflessly stepping up to assist with their child’s educational, mental and physical needs.”

Top five tips from the University’s education experts include:

1. Support your child’s physical development (opens in a new window)

Take the time to encourage your child to move around. Get involved - Dance! Enjoy family moments by playing songs that your kids love and have fun while creating all types of dance moves!

2. Schools are social places (opens in a new window)

It’s easy to forget that schools are social places for children too. Consider scheduling activities they would do at school aside from learning such as connecting with friends, spending time just hanging about during breaks to recharge batteries, or doing some physical activities.

3. Reading for pleasure (and a good time to turn off the wi-fi) (opens in a new window)

Research shows that reading improves cognition, memory, vocabulary, writing skills and sleep. It can reduce stress, foster empathy and ease loneliness. Consider finding a regular short block of time for everyone in the household to ‘drop everything and read’.

4. Maintain a positive attitude towards the study of mathematics (opens in a new window)

It is important to maintain a positive attitude towards the study of mathematics. A positive attitude is important even if your own personal view of high school mathematics may have been less than positive! Try to make the learning enjoyable for both of you.

5. Help your child with goal setting (opens in a new window)

If your child is preparing for HSC, use your own skills in goal setting, meeting deadlines, and time management to help. Get your teenager to write down tasks for each day in a student diary, whiteboard, or Google calendar and build in reward and chill-out time into this schedule. This will assist them in understanding how chunks of productive study gives them a sense of success and enables rewards to be enjoyed.

To learn more about the initiative and access the full resources, please visit EKN Home School | Western Sydney University (opens in a new window).


20 September 2021

Alexandra Halbish Rayner, Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas