While some students thrive with home-schooling, this is certainly not the case for everyone. Navigating new digital learning systems and a lack of personal connection has left many children and teenagers struggling to keep up with their studies during lockdown. If you or someone you care about could benefit from extra study support during this difficult time, here are four points of advice worth trying:
It is easier than ever to find online tutoring in Australia that’s tailored to your needs. Whether you are on a budget, require VCE tutoring, or prefer a particular learning style, there are so many services available online that you are bound to find one that’s right for you.
Going over your coursework, homework, and exam preparation with a tutor not only helps to consolidate your learning but also gives you a chance to receive one-on-one support that classroom teachers don’t always have the time to provide.
There are strong arguments that support both sides of the camera-on vs. camera-off debate. If you feel like you are falling into a slump where you are taking longer than normal to wake up, are not getting out of your PJs, or are showering less regularly, then consider turning your camera on in class when you can.
It doesn’t need to be 100% of the time, but a few mornings a week can reduce feelings of isolation and help you hold yourself accountable for waking up and putting in the effort to look presentable. You might find yourself participating more in discussions. In turn, this will make you feel better, thus boosting your motivation to keep up with your work. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t become an always-on person – Zoom fatigue is real!
There is growing evidence to suggest that commuting to school or work allows people to transition and get into the right headspace for the roles they perform in different environments. Not having to travel to and from school might free up more time in your day, but it can also make it harder to detach yourself from “school mode.” This leads to exhaustion and burnout which is bad for your health and your studies.
To help you switch hats throughout the day, reclaim your before and after school commute time to go for a walk, bike ride, or even fire up your aroma diffuser and meditate with an invigorating scent like mint or lemongrass. The key is to do something unrelated to schooling so you can break up your day.
Not every student has access to the same resources at home as they do at school. If your study is being affected by tech disruptions, limited internet access, unreliable hardware/software, or any other difficult circumstances at home, contact your school. It is their responsibility to provide you with the tools you need or offer an alternative solution that works for you.
You deserve the same opportunities as your peers, especially during a pandemic. If you require mental health support, you can check in with your school counselling service or free call Lifeline or the Kids Helpline 24/7. You are not alone.
Lockdown is hard on everyone, but powering through school amidst uncertainty and restrictions is something to be commended. Remember to be kind to yourself, take breaks, and stay connected to your friends. It’s not the most common academic advice but it does help.