The Parent's Guide to Coping with School Closures

Tips for Quaranteenagers: Parent Fact Sheet

Strategies to support home learning

Follow these tips for a positive learning environment at home

Be realistic about what you can do:

  • You're not expected to become teachers and your teenagers aren't expected to learn as they do in college. Simply providing them with somewhere to work and some structure at home will help them to adapt. Use the tips below to help you make this work for your household.

  • Designate a working space, if possible, that does not need to be constantly cleared away.

  • Experiment in the first week, then take stock. What's working and what isn't? Ask your teenagers how they would like to organise their work routine.

  • Experiencing anxiety about Covid-19 is normal, offer your teenagers the compassion they need in order to move towards feeling better. This period will be new for your entire household, so give it time to settle.

Keep to the timetable:

  • Students are expected to stick to their college timetable. This is continuing remotely with lessons, tutorials and support taking place online. Therefore, it is important to create and stick to a routine that complements this. Get up and have breakfast ready to start the college day as usual and avoid putting the TV on first thing.

  • Involve your teenager in setting this routine and a working timetable. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills including how to better manage their own time and promote ownership of learning.

  • Stick their timetable up on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing when. Check in with your teenager and encourage them to keep to the timetable but be flexible.

  • Identifying when your teenager can be most productive and help them by removing distractions i.e. other siblings and technology.

  • However, if you have other children/teenagers at home you may need to consider shared access to technology i.e. the computer, laptop, tablet in order for work to be completed. This could also be timetabled but be flexible, a teenager in need to complete a piece of work is going to resent being displaced. See what works for your household.

  • Finally, distinguish between weekdays and weekends, to separate college life and home life. Young adults need their own time too.

Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day:

  • Include exercise in your timetable. Maybe start the day positively by using technology to access some of the excellent classes online.

  • If you have a garden, use it regularly. If you don’t, try to get out once a day as permitted by the government (households can be together outdoors but 2 metres apart from others).

  • It is important to take regular breaks and drink water to hydrate.

Other activities to keep Teenagers engaged throughout the day:

  • Allow privacy and some time alone, teenagers will need to switch off when they are not studying and may want to spend some time alone. They will miss the interactions they had when going into college, so should be encouraged to keep in contact with their friends via phone calls, texts etc.

  • Treat teenagers as problem solving partners, instead of presenting them with a daily program, we could say ‘We’re all having to invent new ways to arrange our days. Can you show me what you have in mind so that I can get a feel for your regular schedule and help you stick to it?

  • Accept that they'll probably watch more TV, play computer games and spend time on their phone – that's ok but you might want to set/agree some time limits.

There is a lot of uncertainty about how the Spring will unfold for our teenagers, however what we do know is that they can help us through this difficult time as they welcome empathy, they are resilient and adaptable and they tend to live up to high expectations.

The charity, MIND, has a wealth of information to support you and the young people in your care.

  • Please follow the link https://www.mind.org.uk
  • click on 'Information & Support'
  • click on 'for children and young people'

Remember to stay safe online. These links have lots of information to support young peoples wellbeing and promote the safe use of the internet.