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When You Don't Get the Work Done

Kids get behind in their work even when they aren’t learning at home. But right now, being behind can seem almost insurmountable. It isn’t.

Here is a simple approach to help you get through.

Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash

What to do when they get behind in their work – especially my teenager?

Don’t start by putting the screws on. If parents and teachers are finding learning from home a hell of a change, then you can be quite certain that your kids and teens are feeling it too.

Instead, observe if you can. How do they approach their work? Do they get distracted, and if so, by what? If they have to complete a task, how do they try (or not try) to tackle that? What makes them give it up?

Then talk to their teacher. Email them if it’s your child is at high school. Most of the 8+ high schools Clunes kids go to have some electronic way that you can communicate with the teacher. At the Primary School you can either just ring during school hours, or speak with the teacher during their weekly parent phone catch up.

Share your observations with the teacher. If you think your child would have had some of these challenges even if they were at school, mention that.

Most teachers will suggest a one on one with your child. If you think your child is anxious, and that the teacher might tip them over the edge (they won’t, that is the last result they want, but they’d appreciate any tips unique to your child!), then mention that. Ask them how they’ll approach it?

Also talk about it with your child. Ask them how they want to approach the meeting. It gives them a sense of control at a time when they are out of control.

A good question can be “What should I start with first”.

This is where you might be surprised. The answer may not be go right back to the beginning. It might be just focus on this week’s task and tell the teacher where you struggle so they can help.

Pushing through the pit (because that is what it feels like) is a life skill kids are going to need at any age. So when they get that assignment or task done, mark the occasion.

A simple “I’m proud of you”, a vegemite and cheese toastie or a pat on the back can go a long way. Kids are used to seeing their teacher's nod of approval when they are working hard. Now they are nodding and the kids just can't see them. But that is ok, because that is one skill parents share!

This simple approach to helping break down a barrier to learning is a therapeutic approach. Diversity Wise talk about this in more detail on their website.

AUTHOR: Lana de Kort

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