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Resources for studying and caring at home

ECU is proud of the flexible and inclusive environment that allows so many of our students to study while also raising families and caring for others. We know that this is a time of significant change and adjustment for many of our students in the way that they study.

We also know that many of our students are also seeing changes to how their families live, work, study and play. For students with children or additional carer responsibilities, it may be especially difficult to juggle studying from home while also caring for others.

ECU is here to help and we want to support you to stay engaged in your education while also caring for those in your life.

If you have any support needs as a result of your carer responsibilities, please contact the Equity Projects Office at equity@ecu.edu.au or on 08 6304 6170 to discuss what support is available to you.

ECU’s Virtual Reality Check

ECU’s Virtual Reality Check is a regular virtual check-in for ECU students who are also parents or carers to debrief, connect and complain!

These reality check-ins are designed to be a safe peer spaces for parents/carers to share their experiences, challenges and wins of studying from home. They are also a place where students can get specific study support from our learning advisers.

Virtual Reality Checks are held every Monday, 11am-11:30am and Thursdays, 8pm-8:30pm during Semester 1. Visit ECU’s Equity@ECU Blackboard Community Page and select the Parent and Carer Network tab for further information and scheduled sessions.

Helpful resources for Parents and Carers

Here's some helpful online resources for parents and carers who are balancing study with other responsibilities.

We know every household is different and whether you are a caring for a child or another person in your life, these top tips might give you some ideas for how to study a home while also caring for others:

1. Set up your environment

Set up your environment for success. While the idea of working from your comfortable couch and wearing your PJs all day may sound like a dream come true, you’ll soon find that shifting to online learning can be challenging, particularly if you are not the only one in the household doing so. Assign yourself, and anyone else studying or working from home, a specific study area to call their own. This gives each person studying/working from home a sense that they belong in the newly shared space, while setting boundaries for personal time and study time. Check out ABS’s hacks for setting up a workstation at home.

2. Prioritise tasks

Prioritise tasks for each day. Don’t sweat the small stuff, these are challenging times so be kind to yourself and don’t put the expectation on yourself that you will get everything done that you would usually achieve each day. A “to-do” list serves as a reminder of the important tasks that you need to prioritise. Each day select the top tasks that you want to achieve with your studies and focus on those. This rule goes the same for kids, for some achieving one or two important things a day may be enough, so set realistic expectations for the whole household.

3. Establish a schedule

Developing a routine together can help all members of the family to feel like they have a bit of control over a challenging situation. Set up a daily schedule so that you and the family know what to expect from each day. If you have young children this could include pictures of the activities and you can make sure their schedule matches what you need to do that day (e.g. if you have a tutorial at 10am maybe this is when they could watch that movie they have been wanting to see). Display the schedule in a prominent place where everyone sees it and can refer to it throughout the day. Check out Schedule Like a Pro for some ideas of how to plan out the week.

4. Take scheduled breaks

Taking scheduled breaks not only keeps your mind fresh, but it also signals to the rest of the family that wellness is important. Even if you are in self-isolation, it’s still important to model to children that work-life or study-life balance.

5. Integrate exercise into your schedule

Exercise is important for everyone to support concentration and mental wellbeing. Set aside a time to exercise each day. This could include a bike ride, walking the dog or completing an exercise video/app if you can’t go outside. Check out the best fitness apps for kids for some ideas to get the whole family involved.

6. Utilise available learning and play resources

You aren't expected to all of a sudden be a full-fledged teacher while also studying yourself.  Check out the ‘Learning resources for kids’ below for resources and activities to support children’s engagement and learning during this time. Take advantage of the growing number of resources available to help you during this time and don’t be too hard on yourself to be the perfect teacher.

7. Communicate with your lectures and tutors

If you are having difficulty managing your current workload or require an extension, simply touch base with your lecturers and/or tutors. They are here to help and support you where they can.

8.    Stay connected!

Make sure that you lock in time to chat and stay connected with your social supports and friends. Consider setting up regular check-ins with a class mate/s to stay connected and touch base in on your study/assignment tasks. The same goes for the little ones, try to find ways for them to stay connected with others. Don’t forget to check out ECU’s Virtual Reality Check and ECU’s Parent and Carer Network, located on the Equity@ECU Blackboard Community Site, to stay connected with other parents/carers from ECU.

9.    Priorities your mental health and wellbeing

Becoming a parent and/or caring for others already proves that you can do anything you put your mind to. Even so, changes during this time are likely to take their toll on everyone's mental health and wellbeing. Prioritise staying mentally healthy, ask for support when you need it and check out the mental health support services and resources below or on the ECU website.

10. If you need help, just ask

These are uncharted times for everyone, if there is something that will help you to stay engaged with your education or help you through this difficult time, we want to know. Get in touch with us at equity@ecu.edu.au or on 08 6304 6170.

External support for parents/carers

Coping with Coronavirus

Support Services

  • 1800RESPECT provides 24-hour support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse, including information relating to self isolation during COVID-19.
  • Kids Helpline have created Parentline where parents can talk to a Parentline counsellor for advice on navigating parenting dilemmas.
  • QLife is an anonymous and free LGBTIQ peer support and referrals
  • Ngala parenting line is a free telephone support services for parents and caregivers of children aged 0 to 18 years who live in WA.
  • CarersWA the peak body that represents the interests of carers in WA.
  • Kalparrin provides support to families raising children with disability, developmental delay, genetic chronic medical and/or health conditions.
  • Developmental Disability WA provides information, advocacy, education and support for people with intellectual and other developmental disability, their families and the people who support them.
  • The NDIS have created a COVID-19 FAQ for participants.

Online groups

  • Beyond Blue provides an online community to support Australians with their mental health
  • Lifeline has a variety of resources to support individuals mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19.
  • Black Dog Institute offers lots of different online support groups that offer a safe place to connect with others

Podcasts

Free Apps

Articles

Coping with Coronavirus

Phone services

  • Kids Helpline is a free and confidential, telephone counselling service for individuals aged 5 to 25 years old.  They can have a chat by phone, online or by email about anything that is worrying them, including cyberbullying.
  • E-headspace eheadspace provides free online support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends.

Mental Health Resources

  • Youth Beyond Blue is the part of beyondblue that has a specific focus on young people aged 12 to 25 years and their mental health.
  • ReachOut is an online mental health organisation for young people and their parents including resources relating to COVID-19.
  • Headspace is a national youth mental health foundation. Headspace has collated some additional resources, tools, useful links and information to help during this time such as; How to cope with stress related to COVID-19.
  • Bullying. No Way! is a website that provides information, resources and support services for young children, students, parents and teachers on a range of bullying issues and related matters.

Education Resources

  • The Department of Education has created Learning at Home resources and information to support learning and wellbeing in the home. The website lists a variety of learning resources by year level. It also houses key information and contacts for support for parents and carers.
  • Twinkl provides access to a range of free and paid teaching, planning and assessment resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum, catering for up to Year 10. There are free printable Australian Teaching Resources covering core subjects including Maths, English and Science.
  • TeachStarter is a similar website with both free and paid resources for students up to Year 7.

Learning Activities

  • Nature Play has great resources for nature play activities.
  • ABC Kids has a range of games, activities, podcasts, videos and education programs.
  • StartingBlocks.gov.au houses information for families on early childhood activities.
  • Sesame Street has a collection of educational games, videos and art for children.
  • Crackerjack Education offers Indigenous teaching resources.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home has lesson plans and resources for Kindy to Year 6.
  • E-learning for Kids provides free, fun, curriculum-based quality primary education.
  • ABC Education hosts thousands of free, curriculum-linked resources for Primary and Secondary students and teachers.
  • Khan Academy has a range of lesson plans and resources for early childhood, primary and secondary students.
  • TED Ed engaging educational talks.

Science and Maths

  • Dr Karl offers science videos, articles and podcasts for adults and young people.
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden educators and keepers at the zoo do Facebook Live “Home Safaris” and then offer an activity to do at home.
  • Zoos Victoria live-streams their animals via their website.
  • “Stuck at Home Science” includes science activities for families using home supplies.
  • ABC mathseeds teaches children ages 3-9 core maths and problem-solving skills.
  • Matific hosts maths activities for Kindy to Year 6 students.
  • Fizzics Education free resources, including videos of science experiments.

History and Geography

Writing and Reading

Music

Arts and Culture

  • Mo Willems the artist and writer does an online “lunchtime doodle” once a day.
  • Art for Kids Hub Art lessons on everything from drawing to origami to sculpting, with videos organized by age range.
  • Camp Broadway Meet Broadway performers, designers, authors, career advisors, composers and more.
  • Art Bar art ideas for the whole family.

Virtual Tours

Visit museums, galleries and landmarks online, such as:

Google has partnered with galleries and museums all over the world to produce virtual tours and online resources.

Exercise

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