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Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

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 [email protected] (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

No Ballina commemoration for 11 November

Speaking on behalf of the Ballina RSL sub-branch, Dick Wills BEM has announced that there will be no public commemoration service in Ballina for Remembrance Day next month.


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Lismore Councillors vote to seek urgent changes to the NSW Government...

Residents in regional areas and local government area representatives, are already straining under what appears to be the Sydney centricity of the NSW Roadmap


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