The first thing to establish with parents is an understanding that they are not expected to replace teachers, but they can be positioned to add value to what educators do.
Some students may require more assistance from their parents than other students during the period of home-supported learning, particularly younger students or students with additional learning needs.
Useful strategies for schools to share with parents
- Encourage their child to be comfortable taking risks with their learning.
- Provide the right amount of support at the right time, in partnership with the teacher.
- Ensure their child retains responsibility for their learning; don’t do the task for them.
- Use open-ended questions and allow enough thinking and response time.
- Give the least amount of help first to support students’ ownership of the task.
Tips for the principal and teacher
- Review strategies for parents to use during home-supported learning; emphasize what they can do, instead of listing ‘what not to do’.
- Be mindful of how much support parents can provide as many will be balancing working from home, the support of one or more children and other demands on their time.
- Share these strategies with parents, such as tips for being ready to learn or examples of open-ended questions, so that they are supported to encourage learning.
- Clearly communicate with parents what you expect them to do in relation to these strategies, setting clear expectations about their role and your role.
- Invite feedback from parents about which strategies are useful and what other support they might need.
- Share with them the “Home-supported learning concepts” document as an online link.