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Byron Shire
April 24, 2024

Remember that one time when everyone was homeschooled?

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Someone recently put a post on Instagram: ‘Homeschooling Day #3, they all graduated, we are done!’

It takes a special person to be a teacher and if one thing comes from isolation it will be our absolute appreciation of those wonderful people who manage the education of our kids.

CQUniversity’s Australia Pacific LNG STEM Research Central Project Lead Dr Linda Pfeiffer, says we shouldn’t expect parents to become teachers – but they can still use the current COVID-19 lock-down to try some cool hands-on STEM activities with their kids.

‘Brainstorm ideas, solve problems, design solutions, play board games, build things, evaluate your products … no wait that’s STEM!’ says Dr Pfeiffer.

Dr Pfeiffer says parents should leave teachers to worry about educational milestones.

‘Instead, embrace the opportunity to spend quality time with your children, while in isolation,’ she says.

Tips for parents finding themselves at home with their children:

  • Tip 1:Keep a routine so that the children maintain good study habits. This includes mealtimes and sleep times.
  • Tip 2: Construct a timetable to allow for children to play, eat and socialise.
  • Tip 3: Pack a lunch box each morning to avoid ‘grazing’ all day.
  • Tip 4: Allow break times to be outside and encourage the children to play then eat.
  • Tip 5: Wear shoes … children need to maintain good posture and be able to wear shoes when they return to school
  • Tip 6: Allow the children to assist in creating the timetable (perhaps it is different each day of the week) so they take ownership. Keep in mind children need to change focus or activity every 45 minutes or so (less for younger children) and are usually more effective learners in the mornings.

Sample Timetable:

  • 9am – 9.45am Session 1
  • 9.45am – 10.15am fruit break
  • 10.15am – 11am Session 2
  • 11am – 11.45am Session 3
  • 11.45am – 12.15pm morning tea
  • 12.15pm – 1.00pm Session 4
  • 1.00pm – 1.30pm lunch
  • 1.30pm – 2.15pm Session 5
  • 2.15pm – 3.00pm session 6
  • Each session can be different for different children to allow use of resources such as the television or computer.

Sample Sessions:

Online learning from school; facetime grandparents; building/construction project; live streaming from an online resource (see below); quiet reading; play a board game; make a video; Physical Education with Joe session; ABC television lesson; arts project; cooking; music.

Sample online resources:

NSTA (USA) Daily Do 

Larry Ferlazzo best websites

BOP Industries live classroom (Australian)

Queensland Museum learning resources (Australian)

CSIRO Outreach (Australian)

Education Queensland Learning@home (Australian)

Australian Reptile Park (note – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)

Questagame (Australian)

Virtual Science Space (Australian)

SeaLife Virtual Aquarium (Australian)

Smithsonian lessons (USA)

ABC term 2 lessons on TV (Australian)

Age of Dinosaurs (Australian)

STEM teaching tools for parents (USA)

Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Fresh air federal funds for Northern Rivers schools in need

Eighteen schools in the Northern Rivers division of Richmond have received $25,000 each as part of the federal government’s School Upgrade Fund, Labor Member for Richmond Justine Elliot said last week.


COVID-19 pandemic has cut life expectancy globally

COVID-19 reversed earlier trends toward longer life expectancies. During the pandemic, life expectancies globally dropped by 1.6 years according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal.


COVID-19 update for New South Wales

Let’s not forget that Covid-19 is still a big issue in our community with 31,935 cases reported across Australia in the last week – an average of 4,562 cases per day.


Five graphs you need to see before the Global Carbon Budget...

The Global Carbon Budget is about to be refreshed, giving the world a critical insight into how efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are (or are not) progressing.


Public transport mask mandate to end

Masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport from tomorrow, Wednesday 21 September.


NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.


COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.


AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.


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