This is a difficult time for many families. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your family, while not adding more stress as you support your teen’s learning. It is important that we feel safe, secure and connected to our loved ones before exploring different ways to learn at home.
Over the coming weeks, schools will be working hard to maintain learning opportunities for all students. Until then, here are some suggested ideas, lessons, and resources to engage your mind, support your physical and mental well-being and to start thinking about how to best learn from home.
Ministry of Education’s Keep Learning Website: Suggestions for parents and caregivers to keep their children learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questions & Answers about COVID-19 for Kids and Teens (BC Ministry of Health)
It’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression during significant lifestyle changes like we are experiencing now. Try to do a daily check-in with yourself to determine how you are feeling. If you feel like your mental health has decreased significantly, talk to your parents or caregivers and consider accessing some of these resources:
- 24-hour Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888
- FamilySmart Society for Kids’ Mental Health: 1-855-887-8004
- How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- SD61 Healthy Schools Secondary Snapshots
- Apps to help with mental health
Stay Active, Stay Healthy
Try to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. While maintaining social distance, these could include:
- Going for a hike, walk, run, or jog
- Riding a bike or skateboard
- Playing individual sports
- Consider using YouTube for online exercise and yoga classes.
Communications & Social Connections
Keeping in touch with friends and family is especially important during challenging times. Maintaining social connections is important for positive mental health. Use online or mobile apps to connect with friends or family members that you may not be seeing as much as you did in the past. Include voice or video calls in addition to text-based communication.
Set Yourself Up for Success!
Get your learning space and routines ready for when more regular assignments and learning tasks begin to arrive from your teachers in the coming weeks.
- Maintain a schedule and daily routine.
- Set your alarm and try to get up at the same time each day.
- Shower, get dressed, and maintain regular times for healthy snacks and meals.
- Try to balance sedentary (sitting) activities with more active options. If you are sitting, take a 5-10 minute break every hour to move your body and help maintain focus.
- Set up your learning space for success. Try to create a calming and distraction-free area to do your home learning. If it’s difficult to find a quiet space at home, try using ear plugs or headphones to help block out distracting sounds.
- Read every day. Consider starting a journal to share thoughts on what you have read or how you are feeling during this time away from school.
- Read your textbooks if you have them, review classroom notes, complete assignments from before the break, research topics you have been covering in your classes.
Suggestions for Online Learning Experiences
- SD61 G-Suite Tools: Login with your SD61Learn account
- Google Sites: Easily make your own website or student portfolio (make sure to use your SD61Learn account, not a personal GMAIL account) You can use our tutorials to get started.
- Google Arts & Culture: Virtually explore world class museums from around the world.
- Google Earth: Virtual Tours
- TedEd @ Home: High-quality, interactive, video-based lessons in multiple subject areas.
- Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History
Subject Specific Resources
- Audible Stories for Teens (Free AudioBooks to support home reading)
- Greater Victoria Public Library: All Digital Platforms (Digital audiobooks, e-books, online graphic novels, and more!)
- CommonLit: A free reading program that includes over 2,000 reading lessons
- Math Beacon: Free Secondary Math Guide Books
- Khan Academy Math
- Khan Academy Science
- Royal BC Museum: The Big Ideas in Social Studies
Indigenous Education Resources
These resources have been developed by the First Nations Educational Steering Committee (FNESC)
All families are different and are each facing different challenges during this time. There is no single “right way” to support your child’s learning and well-being but here are a couple links related to supporting teens coping with the stress and anxiety surrounding Covid-19 and learning at home.