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Helping your teen’s learning at home

If your child is currently learning from home, they may be finding it hard. Although their school will be providing them with resources to help them study at home, you might have concerns about how this will work, especially if you have to work from home as well.

We’ve put together this page to give you some information on what you can do to support and reassure them.

You can find out more about home and blended learning and how you can help support your children here.

There’s more to school than work

You might be feeling extra pressure as a parent because you worry that your child is missing out on school learning. Try not to feel overwhelmed. Rather than stressing about homework or grades, try to focus on supporting their wellbeing – just being there to talk to about your teen’s worries right now could help deal with any issues at this time.

Tips for supporting their learning

In this short film, teacher Chris Smith shares his tips for supporting your teens to learn from home.

Tip #1: Show an interest

Your teen may find it encouraging if you show an interest in what they’re learning at school. Without being pushy, try asking them about their studies. You don’t need to pretend to understand everything – they may enjoy telling you things you don’t know!

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Tip #2: Help them establish a routine

If your teen is learning from home, without the structure of the school day, it’s easy for usual routines to fall by the wayside. Try to help them establish a ‘school friendly’ routine at home, to balance study, exercise and down time.  Don’t just impose this though – agree on a sensible routine together. Being part of the decision-making process will make them feel more in control. 

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Tip #3: Reassure them that they will catch up

Many teens may be worried about how a return to home learning will affect their work. They may have concerns about falling behind, or missing parts of the curriculum. Reassure them that teachers are very aware of this and will be doing everything they can to help pupils keep on track. 

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Tip #4: Help them find their study style

Different people learn in different ways, and the way your teen learns best may not be the way you learn best. This quiz from Young Scot helps you work out your study style - you could both try it together and compare results!

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Tip #5: Give them space

You know your child best, and you’ll know when they need some encouragement, and when they need to be left alone to get on with things. Make sure they have time and space to do homework. This may involve keeping younger siblings busy so your teen can concentrate – our activities and games pages have lots of suggestions for this. 

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Tip #6: Let them relax

Nobody can work round the clock, so make sure your teen also has time to relax and recharge their batteries. Try to help them get a good balance between work and play – Young Scot has some good advice on how to not let studying take over your life.

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If your child is still in school

If your child is still able to attend school (for example, because you’re a key worker) they won’t necessarily be finding it any easier than children who are learning from home. They may even be feeling annoyed that they still have to go into school while they think their friends can “lounge around at home”! Try to make time to talk to them about how they’re getting on, and to let them know that you’re there if they need to talk.

Keep in contact with the school

Schools aren't just there for students – they're there for you too. So if your teen feels overwhelmed by the amount of work they're being set, is struggling with their work, or you have worries about their mental health, contact your child’s school for advice – they will be happy to help and could even put together a support plan for your child.

If lockdown is hard on your teen, it may help to let their school know. This could be the case if your family is dealing with bereavement or changes, such as job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. If you feel that your teen needs additional support or if you have concerns about their health and wellbeing, it’s important to let the school know as early as possible so that they can work with you to put any support in place which may help.

Staying safe online

It's important to consider how you can help keep your teen safe online. Most people, especially teenagers, will be online more than ever – which isn’t a bad thing. It lets them keep in touch with their friends, have fun and supports their learning outside of school. But at the same time it's important that you know that they're safe while online. Our online safety page has lots off advice to help you.

Their future

If your teen is not feeling very motivated about learning right now, encouraging them to think about the future opportunities it will open up to them might help. There are many different pathways available in school to give your teen skills for life, work or further study. When they turn 16, instead of staying at school, your teen may choose to go to college instead. Your local college website will have more information on some of the options available for your child to continue their learning journey.

Encourage your teen to look forward to their next steps, whether that is continuing with school, going to college or university, securing a Modern Apprenticeship or other work-based training, or getting a job. Reassure your teenager that situation won’t last forever, and that they still have all the opportunities open to them that they had before. The website has more information on your teen’s options when they leave school.

When will schools reopen?

Schools started teaching remotely online from 11 January and will continue until children return to the classroom. You can find out more on our back to school FAQ page here. This doesn’t apply to children of keyworkers or vulnerable children who will be able to attend school as normal.

Mental health support

You might notice your teen’s behaviour changes. This can cause conflict at home, which is stressful for you both. If you become seriously worried about your teen’s mental wellbeing, it’s important to speak to their GP and their school. They’re going through a lot right now, which is why we’ve put together a page on the things you can do to support your teenager through coronavirus.
The online Solihull course contains information about your child’s development and support for forming positive relationships. You can access the course for free using the access code ‘tartan’ here.

If you’re feeling concerned that your child is missing out on learning at the moment, this short film may help - Dr Janet Goodall from the Learning Foundation explains that there’s no such thing as ‘lost learning’ and that children have been learning all the time during this strange situation