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It feels like we were just on holidays thanks to COVID-19 and online schooling, but the first week of mid-year holidays is already upon us. You may be wondering how best to utilise this time to help your child reach their learning goals, so here are some tips on how to get the most out of this time!

Literacy, the ability to read and write, is one of the most important skills to help your child learn and grow. Having a high level of literacy aids students to think more critically and creatively, express themselves with more clarity and can actually benefit them in other subjects such as Maths and Science. Luckily, there is a tonne of ways you can help your child improve their literacy level at home!

Every school has a unique method of setting work, tasks and assessing the level their students are at, but mostly these tests come in the forms of an assessment or an assignment. However, the difference between the two of these can be hard to spot - both receive task sheets, both can usually be worked on at home, they can contain some of the same content. So, how do we tell the difference and how can this help your child?

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought in an unprecedented era of online learning and education. All years and study levels were forced dramatically and suddenly to navigate a world previously unknown to them, and all of their education was digitised.

As we know, school has moved online for the foreseeable future. Each learning institution is handling the situation differently, using a combination of email, school uploading platforms, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, OneNote... the list is endless. Most students are relatively tech-savvy, so utilising these platforms won't be an issue for them or something they will need help from their parent or guardian with. What they do need help with is the nemesis of all young people - structure.

Research shows conclusively that one of the best ways to transfer information from Short Term Memory (STM) to Long Term Memory (LTM). One of the best strategies is called SPACED REPETITION. Spaced Repetition, essentially, involves revisiting the ideas or skills you are learning in class regularly. For example research suggests revisiting at least once within 48 hours, and then at least weekly to maximise understanding and retention.

We are blessed to live in a world where, in a crisis like the one we are all currently experiencing, we can move most of our day-to-day activities online. With this move to digital we are seeing meetings, social plans and dates going online, and learning is no exception.

In education and learning it is important to understand that skills and concepts require different approaches to learning.  They also require an understanding of the goals of different types of Practise.  Effective learning also requires an understanding of the differences in the type of knowledge with which you need to engage.

It’s official – Australian schools have closed and are making the transition to online learning. Although the current line from the Government is that school will recommence at the beginning of Term 2, that reality is looking more and more unlikely with each passing day in these uncertain times.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve day to day, online learning or distance learning is becoming a key alternative in ensuring that students and teachers have access to online lessons and activities.  Queensland Department of Education has released their new learning at home hub with a range of resources to keep students engaged during this time.  

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