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17 Answers

Now that we are in Melbourne’s 6th lockdown, it is almost impossible to keep my son focused on doing any schoolwork. After a year and half with hardly any face-to-face learning, he and myself are completely over remote learning. Does anyone have any advice on how to re-kindle his interest in learning again?


Posted anonymously, 20th August 2021


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  • Take the pressure off for a day to re-set. Then spend some time discussing with him the expectations and goals. Can you get some ideas from his teacher/s perhaps? Depending on his year level, it might not matter too much. His mental health is the most important thing so start with that first.


  • Try to make it interesting- if we’re talking maths create real life problems like how to know how much of an ingredient to bake a cake- good way to learn fractions that’s practical. If it’s science come up with some experiments. English- write a play and then perform it.


  • How old he is? Maybe try to find a different way to approach some subjects like YouTube videos or some STEM way to learn.


  • I homeschooled one of our special needs daughters for 5 years, the trick is to encourage work with tangible rewards, if our daughter had a good day staying focused and trying she got to pick a treat from the rewards box, it can have fidget toys or a lollipop, or even stickers and rewards written like a choice of next take out meal or what you make them for lunch or breakfast, a good day means pancakes in the morning which they can help with, keep rewards small and easy for you, you’d be amazed at how much work they’ll do if they have something to look forward to at the end. Hang in there, a lot of days are not gonna be great but those are the days you expect a little less, most kids don’t think they have to try at home as much as school, find a words are educational but kids love them it’s great for working on spelling and vocabulary. You’re doing great!


  • Have a day outside making a vegetable garden and they all can be involved and maybe put some flower seeds in that deter pests let them all pick what they want to plant and they can write the progress of their plants.


  • I just looked through other responses and absolutely agree to utilise outdoor spaces if you have any! I feel like with remote learning/working it’s so hard staying inside all day and we underestimate how refreshing and healthy outdoor time is! Especially if you have some pleasant weather these days! Can you prepare some nutritious refreshments to enjoy while studying outdoors too like homemade lemonade or fruit punch. I think something new like this can add a bit of motivation.


  • At this stage with lockdowns it is important to make learning fun to keep motivation going.


  • I like the idea of setting up work stations outdoors. Craft table out on the patio or get the tent out that would make a fun classroom. I get the kids involved in collecting the items out of the cupboards and fridge for meal times ask them to make me a menu so I can cook what they like. Ask the kids to help with the time table of work. They then know what’s to be done in the timeline.


  • Allow for breaks and plan some non school activities that they can do to motivate them to do their work.


  • It might be an idea to reach out to school for some other ideas? Hopefully they should have some resources and ideas for this situation.


  • Sounds you’re doing well Forgetfulmumma!


  • Change things up a little where possible.
    When going through spelling with my children we will use a chalkboard one day, upword tiles the next, rainbow colours, word sleuths and scrabble tiles on other days. Depending on your child’s age you could also look for things that start with each letter of a word.. for example LAMP you could find a light, Apple, monkey, and purse… it might also help enhance his spelling … same for math. Add, subtract, multiply and divide with favourite toys etc. We also play standard board games with different number die 20 sided etc. we also have a plus minus die, which we use to build a tower. You either add to the tower or take some blocks away, depending on what we roll up.

    I home schooled my 5 year old by choice last year (he was 4 and supposed to be in kindy) I gave him the reigns for a term. He chose the topic. We was really into fish. We watched a 2 min show called “I’m a fish” we would then google the fish and see it’s size and weight. We then looked for things round the house that were that size (the sun fish was as big as my suv). We also made an aquarium out of a clear fruit punnet and other recyclables then we made a poster of the fish (our focus were “sky” fish… sun, moon, star, angel, rainbow fish)

    Best of luck to you and your family. It’s not easy


  • Personally I think it’s easier to keep my primary school kids engaged than my high school kids. They struggle to keep motivation up and may work for just an hour a day then for the rest of the day they fool about.
    For primary school kids it’s far easier to take a creative approach and bring learning into every day life activities


  • I’m sorry things are so tough, I hope you know that you’re not alone and you’re doing a great job. Maybe take the pressure off yourselves for a while and set aside an hour or 2 a day for schoolwork then give hm a break. Mental health is more important than school right now and that might do you both a world of good. When you’re both feeling refreshed and ready try and jump back in again


  • Maybe take a break from it. I know it sounds naughty, but if he’s not engaged, he’s not learning anyway. Give him a few weeks off. You’ll both feel better for it.


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