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Staying healthy and active while learning at home

Learning from home for a long time can cause stress and anxiety. This page and the video below have some tips to help you look after your child’s nutrition, fitness and mental health.

Make sure everyone understands what’s happening

Talk openly and calmly to your child and the entire family about the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to learn from home. Understanding the situation will help to reduce anxiety.

Find out about how to talk to your child about COVID-19.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is proven to de-stress us and get our blood pumping around our body and brain. This helps us focus and learn. Exercise can also trigger the release of mood improving hormones.

If your child is feeling restless, they might need to get up and move around. It’s important to exercise every day and find time for short movement breaks in-between learning.

Some ways you can do this are:

  • physical activity apps
  • dancing
  • floor exercises
  • yoga
  • walking around the garden
  • home exercise equipment
  • playing with the family pet
  • a daily fitness challenge
  • using home exercise equipment appropriate to your child’s age to do a family workout
  • playing ball games or playing with other sporting equipment
  • a good old dance in the lounge room.

Connect with family, loved ones and friends

Encourage your child to keep in regular contact with loved ones, family and friends. They could do this via phone, email or social media (where appropriate). This will help them to feel connected and not isolated.

Make room for some downtime

You know your child best – check in with them regularly. If you notice they’re feeling a bit anxious about learning, it’s ok to take a break and do something different. You could try another activity that your child is passionate about or just have some down time.

Some downtime activities are:

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • reading
  • gratitude jars
  • acts of kindness
  • walking around the garden
  • spending time in nature.

Eat and sleep healthily

We know that sleep and nutrition are really important. You can make sure you child is well-rested and getting the food they need to fuel their learning by:

  • keeping regular healthy eating habits, meal times and normal bedtime routines in place
  • starting your day on a positive note – get up, get dressed, have a healthy breakfast, and have your morning ‘check-in’ chat
  • scheduling recess and lunch breaks during the day
  • encouraging extra healthy snack times, full of fresh fruit or vegetables
  • making sure your child has access to plenty of drinking water throughout the day.

Listen carefully to your child

Respond to and answer your child’s concerns or worries by listening carefully and asking questions before responding. This will help you to work out what’s wrong and respond clearly.

Make sure you meet their problem with sympathy and care. Answer calmly and confidently. If you need to step away from the situation, let your child know that you need some adult thinking time and will come back to their question.

It’s ok to take time to stop and breath – to relax, ground yourself and find some stillness.

Make sure your home is set up for learning

It’s important to make sure your child has a good environment to study in.

Find out more about setting your home up for learning.

Teachers can download a print-friendly version of this advice to give to parents.

Contact

Our Learning SA

EmailEducation.OurLearning [at] sa.gov.au