Parents / Whanau

Kia ora families!

What might a day learning at home look like?

Dear families,

You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing...

Our kids are just as worried as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you might see your kids behaving in ways that are out of character. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally - it will happen. You might see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.

Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be OK. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do Maths. Don’t scream at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.

Expectations for Learning@Home:

Teachers availability - Your child's teacher will be available during normal school hours (9-3) via email. Teachers will be checking in on these, but please be patient with them.

Any problems or confusions? Email your child’s teacher. Responses should come back to you relatively quickly depending on the question or problem and depending on whether the teacher is working with another group or student at the time of your request. Please be patient and be aware that many of our teachers have families of their own to look after also.

Video conferencing - Your child's teacher will be offering video conferencing time through your child's school email address. Please keep an eye out for these in your child's gmail account. (

Feedback/Forward - Teachers will provide feedback and feedforward on completed projects. Teachers will also give assistance to students needing help in completing the task as required.

Lessons - Lessons will be provided in different ways. They might be a video or they might be an independent task. They also might be a reading for children to read and consider before the next video conference.

Be kind - This is a learning curve for everyone - including the teachers. Be kind and be patient.

SHARE - Share videos and photos of things your child gets up to and we will keep updating the Learning Site!

If we can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills, and how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone.

Love and blessings,

From us all here at St Joseph's.


Some tips and tricks:

  • Kids learn best in the morning when they're fresh. Leave more 'traditional' Reading, Writing, Maths for the morning.

  • Create a routine and stick to it!

  • Life skills are important too - this could be a great opportunity to teach your child about keeping house, cooking and even budgeting and finance!

  • Talk with your child - have a conversation.

  • Get your child to teach you something new - how to play a game they like, how to build a site or slideshow.

  • Some of those 'old fashioned games' could come in handy here - cards, knucklebones, jacks, board games...

  • Keep things light, unforced and fun

Home learning is important too!!!!

    • Cooking involves - reading a recipe, measuring ingredients accurately, scientific ideas about temporary and permanent change, health and safety, using technology

    • Money - adding/subtracting, planning and budgeting, comparing the value

    • Caring for animals and plants

    • Life skills learning - how to use a washing machine, dishes, cleaning - don't underestimate these!

Most importantly, enjoy your time together! And don't forget to keep in touch.

Keep in touch and share your at home learning journey with your teacher!