With the addition of Stage 4 restrictions resulting in an extended lockdown period, most us would say we have adjusted to a life in lockdown. However constant changes from face-to-face to remote learning can make it more difficult for students to adapt to living and learning during this time. Both our Senior School and our ELC students have now joined the rest of Oakleigh Grammar in returning to remote learning. VCE is already a big enough year on its own but with added stresses of a pandemic and remote learning it takes it a whole new level.
This is a huge challenge for students, particularly due to the final year of School being a rite of passage for many. With so much time at home, it is important for parents to remind their child to consider structure, education, exercise and social contact when it comes to completing their remote learning. Parents and guardians should work with Year 12 students to support them in their final year. We’ve collected tips and suggestions from the University of Melbourne on how you can help your child and what they can do to get through the home stretch of VCE, and make it their time to shine.
Establish a Routine
By having a routine with set goals, it will make it clearer for you to discover the actions you need to take to achieve them. A schedule similar to how you would have your School timetable will help keep you on track and minimise distractions. It is essential to incorporate time away from your screen to include physical, creative and social activities. Just like at School, you also need to incorporate breaks throughout your day. Also make opportunities for not only learning new topics but also for revisiting previously studied areas to help consolidate your learning.
Focus on What You Can Control
In times of change or stress, there are methods to promote a positive mindset. One way of doing this is to focus on what is most important to you right now, beyond VCE. This is the physical, emotional and mental health of not only yourself but also your friends and family. Finding ways to control other parts of your life will help you cope with change and the uncertainty of the pandemic. Another method of dealing with the current situation is to set goals for the future. Looking ahead of this year, past VCE and beyond Covid-19, is a great way to stay motivated and not give up.
You aren’t alone in this. Student’s all over the world are in the same situation as you and are having a radically different 2020 school year. You are all in this together, and it is important to remind yourself of this and take solace in it. It is also important to have realistic expectations. Remember that you aren’t just ‘studying from home’ but you are trying to ‘learn and study during a pandemic’. Stop comparing your efforts and how you are coping to others, everyone is taking this at their own pace. Also, it is essential for you to be kind to both yourself and others. Kindness and maintaining social connection are crucial during a time of crisis.
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology can really help you at this time, and although it doesn’t replace human interactions with peers and teachers, it can assist with learning. Using Microsoft Teams not only for your set classes but also to work with classmates outside of scheduled sessions can be a great aid for group discussions and collaborative writing. There are several other useful applications to help you get organised and stay on track. These include, Trello (a virtual whiteboard) and Marina Timer (a timer that allows you to work in 25-minute chunks and then reward yourself with five-minute breaks after each one).
Ask for Help
Your teachers are there to guide you just the way they would during face-to-face learning. All students can count on their teachers to assist with learning goals and specific criteria related to assessments and exams. Maintain a clear line of communication with your teachers for whenever you may need some extra help or are seeking clarification and feedback. Maintaining connections socially and for support will help avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness. It will overall help you have a better VCE experience and provide a sense of normality. Ask for help from peers, parents, teachers and our School Counsellor, Fiona Baudinette; They will be there for you every step of the way, all you have to do is ask.